Clefts of the lip and palate are associated with permutation in brain structure that appear to cause cognitive dysfunction, according to a study recently conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa.
Studying 54 adult men with nonsyndromic facial clefts and 54 male control subjects, the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to study brain volume and tissue composition. They found that the volume of the anterior portion of the cerebrum was enlarged in men with clefting and that this enlargement is inversely associated with Full Scale IQ, which measures verbal and non-verbal skills.
Those with clefting also showed decreased volume in the posterior cerebrum and cerebellum as well as decreased cerebrospinal fluid.
The left temporal lobe was most affected in the subjects with clefting, the Iowa team noted, where language is predominantly represented and processed, especially in men. The subjects exhibited mildly decreased IQ compared with the control subjects and specific language function difficulties.