The main purpose of this study was to report the existence of previously unidentified brain cysts or lesions in children with nonverbal learning disabilities, Asperger syndrome, or controls. The authors compared the incidence of cysts or lesions on magnetic resonance images (MRIs) in 28 children with nonverbal learning disability, 26 children with Asperger syndrome, and 24 typical controls for abnormalities. In this study, the authors found 25% of children previously diagnosed with nonverbal learning disability to have unsuspected brain abnormalities generally including cysts or lesions in the occipital region, compared with approximately 4% in the Asperger syndrome or control group. The cysts/lesions were found mainly in the occipital lobe, an area responsible for visual/spatial reasoning. It is appropriate to speculate that there might be a connection between anomalous brain development and skill differences among these groups.
- Asperger syndrome
- brain cysts
- nonverbal learning disability