The DSM debate

In the Nov. 9 New York
Times
, there is an interesting
column
by autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen about the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM), including a
discussion by its editors about whether to remove Asperger syndrome from the
forthcoming fifth edition.

Baron-Cohen touches on some of the same points made in Cerebrum’s recent look
at the DSM update. The complementary articles, one by DSM editors, the other by
psychiatrist Paul R. McHugh, suggest how the revision might bring more
certainty to diagnoses and why looking at disorders’ causes—not just their
symptoms, as is the case now—is important.

The DSM update is scheduled for publication in 2012, and
many important discussions about it lie ahead. Stay tuned.

-Dan Gordon

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