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Atypical development of the executive attention network in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

  • Author(s): Stoddard, Joel
  • Beckett, Laurel
  • Simon, Tony J
  • et al.
Abstract

Impairment in the executive control of attention has been found in youth with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS). However, how this impairment is modified by other factors, particularly age, is unknown. Forty-six typically developing and 53 children with 22q11.2DS were tested with the attention networks task (ANT) in this cross-sectional study. We used logarithmic transform and linear modeling to assess age effects on the executive index of the ANT. Mixed modeling accounted for between subject variability, age, handedness, catecholamine-O-transferase (COMT; codon 158) genotype, and gender on performance for all experimental conditions (cue × flanker) and their two-level interactions. Children with 22q11.2DS showed a relative, age-dependent executive index impairment but not orienting or alerting network index impairments. In factorial analysis, age was a major predictor of overall performance. There was a significant effect of the 22q11.2DS on overall performance. Of note, children with 22q11.2DS are specifically vulnerable to incongruent flanker interference, especially at younger ages. We did not find an overall effect of COMT genotype or handedness. Children with 22q11.2DS demonstrated age-related impairment in the executive control of attention. Future investigation will likely reveal that there are different developmental trajectories of executive attentional function likely related to the development of schizophrenia in 22q11.2DS.

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