Cerebellum, Language, and Cognition in Autism and Specific Language Impairment
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- Hodge, S.M., Makris, N., Kennedy, D.N. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2010) 40: 300. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0872-7
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We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6–13 years, including 22 boys with autism [16 with language impairment (ALI)], 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in posterior-lateral cerebellar lobule VIIIA (right side larger in unimpaired groups, left side larger in ALI and SLI), contralateral to previous findings in inferior frontal cortex language areas. Lobule VIIA Crus I was smaller in SLI than in ALI. Vermis volume, particularly anterior I–V, was decreased in language-impaired groups. Language performance test scores correlated with lobule VIIIA asymmetry and with anterior vermis volume. These findings suggest ALI and SLI subjects show abnormalities in neurodevelopment of fronto-corticocerebellar circuits that manage motor control and the processing of language, cognition, working memory, and attention.