Title:
Underlying neurological dysfunction in children with language, speech or learning difficulties and a verbal IQ performance IQ discrepancy
Authors:
J. Meulemans , A. Goeleven , I. Zink , L. Loyez , L. Lagae and F. Debruyne
Institutions:
Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospitals Louvain, St. Rafaƫl, Louvain, Belgium; Department of Paediatric Neurology, University Hospitals Louvain-Gasthuisberg, Heverlee, Belgium
Keywords:
Brain damage; children; intelligence tests; psychomotor performance
Pages:
71 - 76
Abstract:
Underlying neurological dysfunction in children with language, speech or learning difficulties and a verbal IQ performance IQ discrepancy. Introduction and aim: We investigated the relationship between possible underlying neurological dysfunction and a significant discrepancy between verbal IQ/performance IQ (VIQ-PIQ) in children with language, speech or learning difficulties. Methods: In a retrospective study, we analysed data obtained from intelligence testing and neurological evaluation in 49 children with a significant VIQ-PIQ discrepancy (25 points) who were referred because of language, speech or learning difficulties to the Multidisciplinary University Centre for Logopedics and Audiology (MUCLA) of the University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium. Results: The group of children broke down into a group of 35 children with PIQ>VIQ and a group of 14 children with VIQ>PIQ. In the first group, neurological data were present for 24 children. The neurological history and clinical neurological examination were normal in all cases. Brain MRI was performed in 15 cases and proved to be normal in all children. Brain activity was assessed with long-term video EEG monitoring in ten children. In two children, the EEG results were abnormal: there was an epileptic focus in one child and a manifest alteration in the EEG typical of Landau- Kleffner syndrome in the other. In the second group of 14 children whose VIQ was higher than the PIQ, neurological data were available for ten children. Neurological history and clinical neurological examination were normal in all cases. Brain MRI was performed in five cases and was normal in all children. EEG monitoring was performed in one child. This revealed benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes. Conclusions: In a small number of children (9%) with speech, language and learning difficulties and a discrepancy between VIQ and PIQ, an underlying neurological abnormality is present. We recommend referring children with a significant VIQ-PIQ mismatch to a paediatric neurologist. As an epileptic disorder seems to be the most common underlying neurological pathology in this specific group of children, EEG monitoring should be recommended in these children. Neuro-imaging should only be used in selected patients.
Issue:
Vol. 8, 2012, 2nd trimester


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Underlying neurological dysfunction in children with language, speech or learning difficulties and a verbal IQ performance IQ discrepancy