Autistic traits, drive to systemize common in autism, borderline personality disorder
Both autism spectrum condition (ASC) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) patients manifest autistic traits and drive to systemize, a new study has shown.
The study involved 624 ASC and 23 BPD patients; an additional 16 patients with both ASC and BPD were also recruited. All participants were made to accomplish the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), Empathy Quotient (EQ) and Systemizing Quotient-Revised (SQ-R) questionnaires. There were 2,081 neurotypical controls (NC).
According to analysis of variance (ANOVA), AQ scores were significantly different among all four groups, (p<0.001), with NCs having the lowest, followed by the BPD, ASC and ASC+BPD groups. The difference in scores between NCs and BPD reached statistical significance, while the scores between BPD and ASC were only marginally different (p=0.047).
Scores in patients with ASC and BPD were significantly higher than those with ASC (p=0.001).
ANOVA also showed that EQ scores were significantly different among all groups (p<0.001), with both NC and BPD patients scoring significantly higher than either ASC or ASC+BPD patients (p<0.001 for all). EQ scores were comparable between NC and BPD patients, and between ASC and ASC+BPD patients.
In terms of SQ-R, both BPD (p=0.016) and ASC (p<0.001) patients scored significantly higher than NCs. ANOVA also found that scores were normally distributed and were significantly different among the groups (p<0.001). In posthoc analyses, the ASC+BPD group did not show significantly different scores compared with any other group.