Judith S. Verhoeven1, Elena Prodi2,3, Sabine Deprez3, Nathalie Rommel4, Alexander Leemans5, Wim Van Hecke3, Ronald Peeters3, Paul De Cock1, Lieven Lagae1, Stefan Sunaert3
1Pediatrics, University Hospitals of the Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 2Radiology, Istituto Neurologico Besta, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3Radiology, University Hospitals of the Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 4Neurosciences, Exp ORL, University Hospitals of the Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; 5Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Clinical criteria make a clear distinction between primary speech and language disorders, as SLI, and those occurring as a part of a more global developmental problem, as ASD. However, in practice, these diagnostic boundaries are not always that clear, leading to the hypothesis that both might represent a spectrum of the same disorder. In this study, we examined the neuro-structural basis of language impairment in SLI and ASD using DTI of the SLF. We found a significant reduction of mean SLF-FA and increase of mean SLF-MD in SLI children compared to controls, which was not the case in the ASD children. We conclude that the structural differences in the SLF may indicate a different etiological substrate.