Asperger’s and genius share same characteristics

March 2nd, 2008

A famous psychiatric, Michael Fitzgerald from Trinity College, Dublin has claimed that many geniuses in the fields of science, politics and the arts have achieved success because they had Asperger’s syndrome(AS), a mild form of Autism.

Michael Fitzgerald said that lots of geniuses showed autistic traits, such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, George Orwell and H G Wells. According to the diagnosis after death, these people had Asperger’s syndrome: Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus, Andersen Hans Christian and Kant Immanuel.

At a meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Academic Psychiatry, Fitzgerald argued that the gene linked to Asperger’s syndrome were the same as those associated with creativity and genius. “Psychiatric disorders can also have positive dimensions. I’m arguing the genes for autism/Asperger’s, and creativity are essentially the same. We don’t know which genes they are yet or how many there are, but we are talking about multiple genes of small effect. Every case is unique because people have varying numbers of the genes involved.”

“Asperger’s sufferers can be so successful mainly because they are more focused and persistent, they do not get distracted and they are not interested in outside society.” he added.

Michael Fitzgerald compared the charateristics of 1600 autism patients to some geniuses and found they have many traits in common. His book “Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World” was pubilshed at the end of last year.

But there are also different opinions. Amanda Batten, of the national autistic society, said it is important to avoid stereotypes of people with autism as geniuses. Anyway, it is estimated that for every 10,000 people, there are 60 to 120 people with autism, and the percentage of genius is definitly less than that.


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