Vladimir Putin
IN PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attends an Orthodox Christmas service at a local cathedral of the village Otradnoye in Voronezh region January 7, 2015. Most Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar on January 7, two weeks after most western Christian churches that abide by the Gregorian calendar. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mental health is under question by the Pentagon after a Defense Department think tank claimed that Mr Putin suffers from Asperger’s symptom.

The 2008 report was made by Brenda Connors, a movement pattern analysis expert at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, and a contractor of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), the Pentagon internal think tank, reports USA Today.

ONA makes long-range plans for Pentagon and helps craft future strategy.

Connors’s theory is that Mr Putin suffered a significant interruption during his infancy in his neurological development. But even though the theory is supported by autism specialists, their diagnosis couldn’t be confirmed because that would require scanning the brain of the Russian president.

In view of Mr Putin’s alleged ailment, Dr Stephen Porges, a psychiatry professor at the University of North Carolina and cited in the 2008 report, recommends that foreign governments that deal with Mr Putin must provide more serene settings since his behaviour and facial expressions indicate defensiveness when attending social gatherings with large crowds.

His conclusion is that Putin has some form of autism, but Porges stopped short of confirming it is Asperger’s.

Meanwhile, the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declined to comment on Thursday if U.S. President Barack Obama has been briefed on the 2008 Pentagon report on Mr Putin’s alleged autism.

“I’m not saying it’s uncredible, necessarily; I’m just saying I don’t have my own personal reaction to it,” USA Today quotes Earnest.

Webmd.com explains that Asperger’s Syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder, a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, especially the ability to socialize with others, to communicate and use imagination.

The syndrome was named after Hans Asperger, an Austrian physician who first described the disorder in 1994.

Among its common symptoms are problems with social skills, eccentric or repetitive behaviours, unusual preoccupations or rituals, communication difficulties, limited range of interests and coordination problems.

NWC also made an analysis in 2011 of Putin and former President Dimitry Medvedev. The report states, “His primary form of compensation is extreme control … reflected in his decision style and how he governs.”

Connors, who had been observing Putin’s behaviour since 1996, shared her hypothesis that early in life, possibly while still in his mother’s womb, Putin “suffered a huge hemispheric event to the left temporal lobe of the prefrontal cortex.” It is the part of the human brain that involves the central and peripheral nervous systems, gross motor functioning on the right side of his head, rib cage, arm and leg, and micro facial expression as well as eye gaze, hearing and voice.

Their study was published in the September 2013 in the Frontiers in Psychology journal.

To contact the writer, email: v.hernandez@ibtimes.com.au