(photo credit: REUTERS)
A 2008 study by a Pentagon think tank hypothesized that Russian President Vladimir Putin suffers from Asperger's syndrome, according to USA Today.
The study was conducted by a Washington based think tank tasked with devising long-term military strategy.
Brenda Connors, a participant expert in the study, wrote that Putin's neurological development was interrupted in infancy, revealing a neurological abnormality.
Although the report's findings were backed by autism specialists, their validity could not be proven or backed scientifically since researchers were unable to perform a brain scan on Putin.
It remains unknown whether or not the Pentagon or administration officials acted on the findings of the study, according to USA Today.
Dr. Stephen Porges, also cited in the 2008 report, backtracked on conclusions that Putin carries a form of autism when reached for comments.
According to USA Today
, Porges said that Putin's "behavior and facial expressions reveal someone who is defensive in large social settings," features that are not only observed in Asperger's, but also with "individuals who have difficulties staying calm in social settings and have low thresholds to be reactive."
Porges suggested that Putin be approached in quiet, more intimate, one-on-one situations, as opposed to through large, bustling state affairs.