Asperger's dropped from psychiatric guide

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The now familiar term "Asperger's disorder" is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientific-sounding diagnosis called DMDD. But "dyslexia" and other learning disorders remain.

These are among the revisions in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by the nation's psychiatrists. Changes were approved Saturday.

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Details of all the revisions will come in May when the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual is published, but the impact will be huge, affecting millions of children and adults. The manual also is important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatments to pay for.

The aim is not to expand the number of people diagnosed with mental illness, but to ensure that affected children and adults are more accurately diagnosed so they can get the most appropriate treatment, said Dr. David Kupfer. He chaired the task force in charge of revising the manual and is a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh.-- AP

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