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Appl Neuropsychol Child. 2015;4(1):49-57. doi: 10.1080/21622965.2013.802649. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Neuropsychological profile of duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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  • 1a Department of Clinical Psychology , National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences , Bangalore , Karnataka , India.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an inherited myogenic disorder characterized by progressive muscle wasting. DMD is a fatal X-linked recessive disorder with an estimated prevalence of 1 in 3,500 male live births. This disease has long been associated with intellectual impairment. Research has shown that boys with DMD have variable intellectual performance, indicating the presence of specific cognitive deficits. The aim of the study was to use a battery of intelligence, learning, and memory tests to identify a neuropsychological profile in boys with DMD. A total of 22 boys diagnosed with DMD in the age range of 6 to 10 years old were evaluated using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition, Rey's Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and the Memory for Designs Test. The data were interpreted using means, standard deviations, percentages, and percentiles. Normative data were also used for further interpretation. The results showed that boys with DMD had a significantly lower IQ (88.5). Verbal IQ (86.59) was found to be lower than Performance IQ (92.64). There was evidence of impaired performance on the Processing Speed, Freedom From Distractibility, and Verbal Comprehension Indexes. Specific deficits in information processing, complex attention, immediate verbal memory span, verbal working memory, verbal comprehension, vocabulary, visuoconstruction ability, and verbal learning and encoding were observed. However, perceptional organization, general fund of information, abstract reasoning, visual discrimination and acuity, visual learning and memory, and verbal memory were adequate. The neuropsychological findings support the hypothesis that these children have specific cognitive deficits as opposed to a global intellectual deficit.


cognitive functions; duchenne muscular dystrophy; intelligence; neuropsychological profile

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