Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review

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Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review

Psychological disorders

Mood disorders

Major depressive disorder


Bipolar disorder

Seasonal affective disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Anxiety disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder

Panic disorder



Obsessive-compulsive disorders

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Body focused repetitive disorders

Body dysmorphic disorder

Stress-related disorders and abuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Physical and sexual abuse

Psychotic disorders

Schizoaffective disorder

Schizophreniform disorder

Delusional disorder


Cognitive and dissociative disorders



Dissociative disorders

Eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa

Personality disorders

Cluster A personality disorders

Cluster B personality disorders

Cluster C personality disorders

Somatoform and factitious disorders

Somatic symptom disorder

Factitious disorder

Substance use disorders and drugs of abuse

Tobacco dependence

Opioid dependence

Cannabis dependence

Cocaine dependence

Alcohol use disorder

Sleep disorders


Nocturnal enuresis


Night terrors

Narcolepsy (NORD)

Sexual dysfunction disorders

Erectile dysfunction

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Orgasmic dysfunction

Female sexual interest and arousal disorder

Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder

Pediatric disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders

Learning disability

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Tourette syndrome

Autism spectrum disorder

Rett syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome



Psychiatric emergencies


Serotonin syndrome

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Psychological disorders review

Mood disorders: Pathology review

Amnesia, dissociative disorders and delirium: Pathology review

Personality disorders: Pathology review

Eating disorders: Pathology review

Psychological sleep disorders: Pathology review

Psychiatric emergencies: Pathology review

Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Hallucinogens: Pathology review

Malingering, factitious disorders and somatoform disorders: Pathology review

Anxiety disorders, phobias and stress-related disorders: Pathology Review

Trauma- and stress-related disorders: Pathology review

Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Pathology review

Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Stimulants: Pathology review

Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Alcohol: Pathology review

Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review

Childhood and early-onset psychological disorders: Pathology review


Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review

USMLE® Step 1 questions

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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An 11-year-old boy is brought to the pediatrician by his parents for evaluation of behavior problems. The patient has been frequently interrupting his parents when they are speaking with others. He often forgets to complete tasks assigned to him, such as cleaning up toys or taking out the trash and is easily distracted. His parents state that when they speak to him, he often does not seem to listen. The patient has been performing poorly in school, and his parents are scheduled to meet with the teacher next week. Past medical history is notable for a tonsillectomy at age 9. Height and weight are consistently tracking at the 50th percentile. Physical examination is unremarkable. Which of the following would be most useful in identifying the patient’s underlying condition?  


Content Reviewers

Antonella Melani, MD


Antonia Syrnioti, MD

Sam Gillespie, BSc

Tina Collins

Talia Ingram, MSMI, CMI

A 9 year old male, named Yama, is brought to the clinic by his mother, who is concerned about Yama’s behavior. She explains that his teacher has repeatedly complained about Yama constantly disrupting the class and interrupting his classmates. In addition, Yama also seems to struggle paying attention to his teacher and constantly forgets to do his assignments.

At home, Yama seems to find it hard to sit still, and often disregards anything his parents tell him. Yama’s mother estimates this behavior started about 8 months ago, and she thought it would just be a phase. During the visit, you notice that Yama seems restless and is constantly grabbing objects around him.

Okay, based on the initial presentation, Yama seems to have some form of developmental and learning disorder. Now, everyone develops at slightly different paces, but almost everyone hits the same general developmental milestones and learns the same sets of skills at about the same time. These are things like language and communication, socializing, cognitive skills like problem solving, and physical milestones like walking, crawling, and fine motor skills, all of which all progress as the brain develops. If one of these doesn’t develop as scheduled, it may be described as a type of developmental and learning disorder.

These include several psychological conditions that typically have their onset during childhood, although some of these disorders may last into adulthood. As a result, these disorders can interfere with how the affected person functions independently in society, and impair everyday activities like working, studying, eating, and sleeping, as well as have an impact on their families. For your exams, the most high yield developmental and learning disorders are autism spectrum disorder, rett syndrome, intellectual disability, specific learning disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Okay, let’s start with autism spectrum disorder. For your exams, remember that this is more common in males and typically first presents in early childhood, before the age of 3, and lasts throughout the individual’s life. Now, autism spectrum disorder is thought to have a genetic cause, which ultimately affects brain development, and may lead to an enlarged brain or head. And that’s extremely high yield!

Now, for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, there are two core types of deficits: social communication and interaction deficits, and restrictive or repetitive behavior, interests, and activities. So, for the social communication and interaction area, there should be deficits in all three of the following areas.


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  2. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Twentieth Edition (Vol.1 & Vol.2)" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  3. "Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine 8E" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  4. "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" undefined (2013)
  5. "The savant syndrome: an extraordinary condition. A synopsis: past, present, future" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2009)
  6. "Practitioner Review: What have we learnt about the causes of ADHD?" Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2012)

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