Mutism in an adult case with autism spectrum disorder improved by aripiprazole

  • Sato Shinji
    Department of Psychiatry, Ibaraki Prefectural Hospital/Department of Psychiatry, Ibaraki Clinical Education and Training Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Kawanishi Yoichi
    Ushiku-Chuo Clinic
  • Ide Masayuki
    Department of Psychiatry, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Sodeyama Noriko
    Department of Psychiatry, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
  • Takei Hitoshi
    Shiogasaki Hospital

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Abstract

<p>Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) includes disturbances in communication, imagination, and social interaction. In individuals with ASD, selective mutism is a common symptom of a communication disability. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been recommended to treat selective mutism, especially after psychosocial interventions fail. However, the mechanism and efficacy of SSRIs in treating selective mutism remain unclear. Here we report the case of an adult male with ASD whose selective mutism was improved by aripiprazole but not SSRIs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such case report. We believe that our patient's case highlights the value of differentiating between psychopathology and psychopharmacology when examining ASD symptoms.</p>

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