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May 1991

Cerebral Structure on Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Language- and Learning-Impaired Children

Author Affiliations

From the San Diego (Calif) Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Dr Jernigan); the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Jernigan), Radiology (Drs Jernigan and Hesselink), and Neurosciences (Dr Hesselink), the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Brain Image Analysis Laboratory, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla (Ms Sowell); and the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Dr Tallal).

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(5):539-545. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530170103028

• Using magnetic resonance imaging 20 language- and learning-impaired children were compared with 12 normal control subjects. Gross brain structure was remarkably normal in the language- and learning-impaired group. Semiautomated morphometry was used to measure hemispheric volumes and cerebral asymmetries in six cerebral regions. The volume of the left posterior perisylvian region was significantly reduced in language- and learning-impaired children. Asymmetries in inferoanterior and superoposterior cerebral regions were also significantly different in this group. Results of descriptive group comparisons of estimated volumes of other cerebral gray-matter structures raise the possibility that some language- and learning-impaired children may have additional volume reductions in cortical and subcortical structures. The results suggest that hemispheric specialization of function may be anomalous in this population.