Aim: The study of neurological soft signs (NSS) in patients with Asperger syndrome may help us to elucidate the neurological basis of this disorder and to clarify its relationship with other neurodevelopmental disorders. The goal of this study was to compare the prevalence of NSS in a sample of patients with Asperger syndrome, early-onset psychosis and healthy controls.
Method: NSS were assessed by means of the Neurological Evaluation Scale in a sample of 29 patients with Asperger syndrome (mean age = 12.86 ± 2.58 years), 30 patients with first-episode early-onset psychoses (mean age 14.17 ± 1.02 years) and 30 healthy controls (mean age 12.33 ± 2.69 years).
Results: Significant group differences were found between Asperger syndrome patients and healthy controls both in all the Neurological Evaluation Scale subscales and in the Neurological Evaluation Scale total score. There were no significant differences between both groups of patients in any of the Neurological Evaluation Scale scores.
Conclusions: NSS are more prevalent in Asperger syndrome than in healthy controls. The NSS profile was not disorder-specific in our samples of patients with Asperger syndrome and early-onset psychoses.