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Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

What is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It is also known as Heller's Syndrome. PDDs are associated with autism and autism-like syndromes, and cover a spectrum of behavioural problems.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is a condition in which children will develop normally to approximately age 3 or 4, then, over a short period, will lose previously acquired motor, social and language skills. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder results in a persistent delay in these affected areas.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is an extremely rare disorder with a reported incidence of 2 per 100,000 children. It occurs only after a period of at least two years of normal development, under 10 years.

There is no known cause of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Current research suggests that a combination of genetic susceptibility and possible prenatal or environmental stress may result in a higher than normal brain deposition of amyloid and disruption of synaptic transmission. However it must be noted that no clear pathophysiology has been proven.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder often occurs alongside other conditions including:

  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Lipid storage disease
  • Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis

However, it is not known whether these conditions play a role in tri