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AIM. This research aims at neurocognitive delineation of the core features of procedural learning disorder (PLD), otherwise labeled as motor coordination disorder or non-verbal learning disorder.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. A sample of 209 correlative outpatients (73% males), aged 6-12 years, all of them having QI ranging from 81 to 120, was clustered into the following neurobehavioural groups: PLD (n = 16), PLD plus attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 37), ADHD combined type (n = 47), ADHD predominantly innattentive type (n = 23), specific language impairment (n = 68), and semantic-pragmatic language impairment (n = 18). Two additional groups of patients were included for some comparisons: children with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) without learning disability (n = 8) or associating PLD (n = 17). A set of behavioural scales and neurocognitive tests was used to evaluate verbal and non-verbal IQ, attention, impulsivity control, visuo-motor coordination, declarative memory, procedural memory and learning, formal and functional dimensions of language, peer relationships and academic achievement. Parametric analysis were used to test the differences and similarities of neurobehavioural variables between groups. RESULTS AND
CONCLUSIONS. Our results allow us to conclude that PLD implies a difficult acquisition of automatized motor, cognitive and communicative abilities required in schoolwork and peer social relationships. PLD is different from autistic spectrum disorders. It is frequently associated to innattentive ADHD. Operational criteria for diagnosis of PLD are proposed, according to our results. A bilateral posterior parietal dysfunction is a plausible explanation of its physiopathology. Preserved general intelligence and formal linguistic abilities are the clues for intervention designs.
ADHDCoordination disorderNon verbal learning disorderPosterior attentional systemPragmatic disorderProcedural learning disorderNeuropsiquiatría