Although it's unclear why some people suffer from Asperger syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder at the same time, some physicians believe that AS leads to anxiety or depression, which may or may not worsen over time to include OCD.
The difference between OCD and other compulsive behavior is that while people who have problems with gambling, overeating, or with substance abuse may appear to be compulsive, these activities also provide pleasure to some degree.
OCD may be related to a chemical imbalance within the brain that causes a communication problem between the front part of the brain (frontal lobe) and deeper parts of the brain responsible for the repetitive behavior.
The hair pulling in trichotillomania can be differentiated from that in OCD in that the hair pulling in trichotillomania is an impulse behavior where in OCD it is a repetitive act performed as part of an obsession.
For example, physicians need to know about treatments a mental health professional may prescribe for OCD and mental health professionals need to know about prescribed treatments and therapy for Asperger syndrome.
Tic disorders as well as OCD sometimes develop after infections (usually scarlet fever or strep throat) caused by a group of bacteria known as group A beta-hemolytic streptococci, sometimes abbreviated as GABHS.
Treatment with antibiotics, immunoglobulin, or blood cleansing procedures can decrease the circulating anti-strep antibodies in the blood, thus lessening the OCD symptoms in some of these children.
Maladjustments of personality, including conduct, paranoid, narcissistic, avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (not to be confused with the anxiety disorder OCD).
Children with Tourette syndrome are more likely to have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficient disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Further, some doctors think there is a physiological link between AS or autism and mood disorders like OCD which may impair a person's ability to regulate emotions and perception.