Mental health and neurocognitive performance of adults with Asperger syndrome
The aim of this study was to explore the psychiatric symptoms, the need for psychosocial support and the neurocognitive profile of adults with Asperger syndrome. The sample comprised 20 adults with Asperger syndrome and 25 healthy adults. The psychiatric symptoms were evaluated with the SCL-90 Questionnaire. WAIS-III was used to explore neurocognitive performance. Adults with Asperger syndrome had significantly more psychiatric symptoms in all subscales of the SCL-90. Over half of the adults with Asperger syndrome had received a diagnosis of mild or moderate depression and had undergone outpatient psychiatric treatment. The neurocognitive performance of adults with Asperger syndrome was within normal distribution, but the profile was uneven and showed individual variation. The processing speed was low, but the attention to visual details was strong. The results bring further understanding to the challenges in need of support of this special group. Both psychiatric and neurocognitive factors need to be acknowledged in rehabilitation planning.