Aim: In this study, we explored the integrity of the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) by means of diffusion tensor imaging tractography in children with visual perceptual impairment, and more specifically, object recognition deficits, compared with typically developing children.
Methods: Eleven individuals (nine males, two females; mean age 7 y 8 mo; range 3 y 5 mo-13 y) were assessed with the L94 visual perceptual battery after assessment of performance age. In all participants, an ophthalmological evaluation was carried out. Diffusion tensor imaging tractography of the ILF was performed. The mean fractional anisotropy was determined for every child and compared with data for 11 age- and sex-matched typically developing children.
Results: The mean fractional anisotropy value in the left ILF was consistently lower in the study participants than in the comparison group. The five children with L94 impairment showed a significantly lower ILF fractional anisotropy on the left as well as on the right side. Furthermore, the decrease in ILF fractional anisotropy was correlated with the number of impaired subtests.
Interpretation: The results suggest an association between ILF integrity loss and object recognition deficits. Moreover, the severity of clinical impairment is reflected in the degree of ILF integrity loss. Therefore, the ILF plays a potential role in object recognition.
© The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2011 Mac Keith Press.