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A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Development of Response Inhibition in Children with Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome


Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a neurogenetic disorder that is associated with cognitive impairments and significantly elevated risk for developing schizophrenia. While impairments in response inhibition are central to executive dysfunction in schizophrenia, the nature and development of such impairments in children with 22q11.2DS, a group at high risk for the disorder, are not clear. Here we used a classic Go/No-Go paradigm to quantify proactive (anticipatory stopping) and reactive (actual stopping) response inhibition in 47 children with 22q11.2DS and 36 typically developing (TD) children, all ages 7-14. A cross-sectional design was used to examine age-related associations with response inhibition. When compared with TD individuals, children with 22q11.2DS demonstrated typical proactive response inhibition at all ages. By contrast, reactive response inhibition was impaired in children with 22q11.2DS relative to TD children. While older age predicted better reactive response inhibition in TD children, there was no age-related association with reactive response inhibition in children with 22q11.2DS. Closer examination of individual performance data revealed a wide range of performance abilities in older children with 22q11.2DS; some typical and others highly impaired. The results of this cross-sectional analysis suggest an impaired developmental trajectory of reactive response inhibition in some children with 22q11.2DS that might be related to atypical development of neuroanatomical systems underlying this cognitive process. As part of a larger study, this investigation might help identify risk factors for conversion to schizophrenia and lead to early diagnosis and preventive intervention.

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