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An Pediatr (Barc). 2013 Feb;78(2):88-93. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

[Executive functions in children with type 1 diabetes using the neuropsychology test].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Psicobiología, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.



Neurocognitive executive function in the paediatric diabetic population is a rarely studied field. To investigate and improve this aspect could help these patients to reach their full academic potential. This led us to study the impact that variables such as age at diagnosis and adequacy of metabolic control of diabetes may have on the executive cognitive functions of this population.


We studied 74 children: 37 with type 1 diabetes (group A) and 37 without diabetes (group B). Group A was divided into two subgroups, depending on age at diagnosis: early, before 5 years, (group A(1)) and late, after 5 years, (group A(2)). We compared group A and B and A(1) and A(2) groups using the test Neuropsychological assessment of executive functions in children (NAEFC). Diabetes metabolic control was performed by measuring HbA(1c) and capillary blood glucose before the test. Previous severe hypoglycaemic episodes were recorded.


Differences were found among groups A and B in the test of interference. Among the A(1) and A(2) groups only differences in the scales of phonological fluency and grey trail trace were found. The scores were higher in both cases in the early diabetic group. We did not found any correlation between HbA(1c) and blood glucose with the different tests of ENFEN results. None of the patients had previous severe hypoglycaemic episodes.


1) Children with diabetes performed better in activities that require resistance to interference, sustained attention and attentional control. 2) Diabetic children with early diagnoses achieved high scores in phonological fluency tasks, and cognitive flexibility. 3) Response to ENFEN was not influenced by HbA(1c) and blood glucose levels before the test.

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