What Is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)?

Dr. Loveland answers the question: 'What Is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?'

Oct. 23, 2008 -- Question: What is childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD)?

Answer: Childhood disintegrative disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which a child develops along the typical pathway until about three to four years of age, or in some cases, older. After that time, the child suffers a loss of many developmental skills that were previously acquired. These can include language, social skills, play, self-care, toileting and motor skills.

Childhood disintegrative disorder is much more common in boys than in girls. However, it is still extremely rare. Only one or two children in 100,000 with autism spectrum disorders may have childhood disintegrative disorder.

The causes of this disorder are not known. It's thought that it can occur with other medical or neurological disorders such as tuberous sclerosis. It may have a genetic basis. Some investigators think that it may have an autoimmune disorder as its basis or perhaps a brain infection.