By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Close X

Did 'mental illness' play a role?

  • Ryan Lanza's brother told authorities his brother Adam had a 'kind of autism'
  • CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta discusses the correlation between autism & violence

Adam Lanza's brother told authorities his brother had a "kind of autism," sparking a discussion about Lanza's mental state and whether treatment could have prevented the 20-year-old from opening fire and killing 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary. CNN's Soledad O'Brien talked to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta about the possible connection between Lanza's mental state and the planned mass shooting.

"First of all,  I wouldn't think of autism as a mental illness, it is a neuro-developmental disorder," Gupta said. "And second of all, if you look at the studies pretty closely, what you'll find is that while there is a possibility of more outbursts, this sort of reactive violence, the idea of planned violence, where someone actually plans out something, that just doesn't correlate."

Gupta discusses the difference between autism and mental illness, and the potential effects when warning signs are ignored.

Join the conversation... welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.