Behavioral and neurobiological correlates of childhood apraxia of speech in Italian children

Brain Lang. 2015 Nov:150:177-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2015.10.002. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a neurogenic Speech Sound Disorder whose etiology and neurobiological correlates are still unclear. In the present study, 32 Italian children with idiopathic CAS underwent a comprehensive speech and language, genetic and neuroradiological investigation aimed to gather information on the possible behavioral and neurobiological markers of the disorder. The results revealed four main aggregations of behavioral symptoms that indicate a multi-deficit disorder involving both motor-speech and language competence. Six children presented with chromosomal alterations. The familial aggregation rate for speech and language difficulties and the male to female ratio were both very high in the whole sample, supporting the hypothesis that genetic factors make substantial contribution to the risk of CAS. As expected in accordance with the diagnosis of idiopathic CAS, conventional MRI did not reveal macrostructural pathogenic neuroanatomical abnormalities, suggesting that CAS may be due to brain microstructural alterations.

Keywords: Array-Comparative Genomic Hybridization; Childhood apraxia of speech; Language disorders; Magnetic resonance imaging; Maximum performance task; Speech Sound Disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apraxias / genetics
  • Apraxias / pathology
  • Apraxias / physiopathology*
  • Apraxias / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Italy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurobiology
  • Speech Sound Disorder / genetics
  • Speech Sound Disorder / pathology
  • Speech Sound Disorder / physiopathology
  • Speech Sound Disorder / psychology
  • Speech*