Increased left parietal volumes relate to delayed language development in autism: A structural MRI study

Leonardo Zoccante, Anna Viviani, Adele Ferro, Roberto Cerini, Stefania Cerruti, Gianluca Rambaldelli, Marcella Bellani, Nicola Dusi, Cinzia Perlini, Flavio Boscaini, Roberto Pozzi Mucelli, Michele Tansella, Bernardo Dalla Bernardina, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The neural basis of language and motor deficits in autism is still not completely clear. The aim of this study was to explore the involvement of the parietal lobe in language and motor development in autism, in view of the recognized role of this region in language and imitation functions. Twenty-eight autistic children underwent an extensive clinical assessment and an MRI examination. A significant direct correlation between age at first word and left parietal gray matter volumes was found (r=0.50, p=0.007). Conversely, age at reaching milestones of motor development, such as the ability to sit and to walk unaided, was not significantly associated with parietal size, after correcting for chronological age and for gender. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first structural MRI report demonstrating a role of left parietal gray matter volumes in delayed language development in autistic children representative of the 'real world' autistic population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume25
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • Asperger's syndrome
  • Brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Motor functions
  • Neuroimaging
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Zoccante, L., Viviani, A., Ferro, A., Cerini, R., Cerruti, S., Rambaldelli, G., Bellani, M., Dusi, N., Perlini, C., Boscaini, F., Mucelli, R. P., Tansella, M., Dalla Bernardina, B., & Brambilla, P. (2010). Increased left parietal volumes relate to delayed language development in autism: A structural MRI study. Functional Neurology, 25(4), 217-221.