A review of neurocognitive and behavioral profiles associated with 22q11 deletion syndrome: implications for clinical evaluation and treatment.
ABSTRACT 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a chromosomal disorder that results in variable multisystem abnormalities, including conotruncal cardiac malformations, aplasia or hypoplasia of the thymus and/or parathyroid glands, immunodeficiency, dysmorphic facial features, and cleft palate and other nasopharyngeal and dental anomalies. Individuals with 22q11DS also exhibit cognitive and behavioral difficulties, including delayed motor and speech-language development, mental retardation, low academic achievement, impaired spatial reasoning, poor attentional and executive functioning, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, and/or schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Interventions should be designed based on the results of periodic developmental and neuropsychological assessments and psychiatric screening. Future research should focus on understanding deletion-related gene-environment interactions and their effects on developmental and behavioral outcomes, identifying neurodegenerative processes in 22q11DS, and developing preventive models of behavioral and psychopharmacologic treatment.
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ABSTRACT: Both autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) and schizophrenia spectrum conditions (SSCs) involve altered or impaired social and communicative functioning, but whether these shared features indicate overlapping or different etiological factors is unknown. We outline three hypotheses (overlapping, independent, and diametric) for the possible relationship between ASCs and SSCs, and compare their predictions for the expected relationships between autistic and schizotypal phenotypes using the Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief Revised from a large non-clinical sample of undergraduate students. Consistent with previous research, autistic features were positively associated with several schizotypal features, with the most overlap occurring between interpersonal schizotypy and autistic social and communication phenotypes. The first component of a principal components analysis (PCA) of subscale scores reflected these positive correlations, and suggested the presence of an axis (PC1) representing general social interest and aptitude. By contrast, the second principal component (PC2) exhibited a pattern of positive and negative loadings indicative of an axis from autism to positive schizotypy, such that positive schizotypal features loaded in the opposite direction to core autistic features. These overall PCA patterns were replicated in a second data set from a Japanese population. To evaluate the validity of our interpretation of the PCA results, we measured handedness and mental rotation ability, as these are established correlates of SSCs and ASCs, respectively. PC2 scores were significantly associated with hand preference, such that increasingly ‘schizotypal’ scores predicted reduced strength of handedness, which is consistent with previous research. PC1 scores were positively related to performance on the mental rotation task, suggesting trade-offs between social skills and visual-spatial ability. These results provide novel evidence for an autism-positive schizotypy axis, and highlight the importance of recognizing that psychological variation involving reduced social interest and functioning may have diverse causes.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e63316. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Early-onset schizophrenia (onset before adulthood) is a rare and severe form of the disorder that shows phenotypic and neurobiological continuity with adult-onset schizophrenia. Here, we provide a synthesis of keynote findings in this enriched population to understand better the neurobiology and pathophysiology of early-onset schizophrenia. A synthetic and integrative approach is applied to review studies stemming from epidemiology, phenomenology, cognition, genetics and neuroimaging data. We provide conclusions and future directions of research on early-onset schizophrenia. Childhood and adolescent-onset schizophrenia is associated with severe clinical course, greater rates of premorbid abnormalities, poor psychosocial functioning and increased severity of brain abnormalities. Early-onset cases show similar neurobiological correlates and phenotypic deficits to adult-onset schizophrenia, but show worse long-term psychopathological outcome. Emerging technological advances have provided important insights into the genomic architecture of early-onset schizophrenia, suggesting that some genetic variations may occur more frequently and at a higher rate in young-onset than adult-onset cases. Clinical, cognitive, genetic and imaging data suggest increased severity in early-onset schizophrenia. Studying younger-onset cases can provide useful insights into the neurobiological mechanisms of schizophrenia and the complexity of gene-environment interactions leading to the emergence of this debilitating disorder.Early Intervention in Psychiatry 02/2011; 5(1):3-14. · 0.92 Impact Factor