Neuropsychopathological comorbidities in learning disorders
Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs of the “Aldo Moro” University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare 1, Bari, Italy
BMC Neurology 2013, 13:198 doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-198Published: 13 December 2013
Learning Disorders (LD) are complex diseases that affect about 2-10% of the school-age population. We performed neuropsychological and psychopathological evaluation, in order to investigate comorbidity in children with LD.
Our sample consisted of 448 patients from 7 to 16 years of age with a diagnosis of LD, divided in two subgroups: Specific Learning Disorders (SLD), including reading, writing, mathematics disorders, and Learning Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (LD NOS).
Comorbidity with neuropsychopathologies was found in 62.2% of the total sample. In the LSD subgroup, ADHD was present in 33%, Anxiety Disorder in 28.8%, Developmental Coordination Disorder in 17.8%, Language Disorder in 11% and Mood Disorder in 9.4% of patients. In LD NOS subgroup, Language Disorder was present in 28.6%, Developmental Coordination Disorder in 27.5%, ADHD in 25.4%, Anxiety Disorder in 16.4%, Mood Disorder in 2.1% of patients. A statistically significant presence was respectively found for Language and Developmental Coordination Disorder comorbidity in LD NOS and for ADHD, mood and anxiety disorder comorbidity in SLD subgroup.
The different findings emerging in this study suggested to promote further investigations to better define the difference between SLD and LD NOS, in order to improve specific interventions to reduce the long range consequences.