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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2019 Feb;25(2):146-155. doi: 10.1017/S1355617718000942. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Executive Functioning in the Dystrophinopathies and the Relation to Underlying Mutation Position.

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1The Graduate Center,City University of New York,Queens College, Queens, New York.
3Departments of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine and Neurology,Columbia University,New York, New York.
4The Graduate Center,City University of New York,Queens College, Queens, New York.



The aim of this study was to investigate executive skills in children with dystrophinopathy and to examine the association between executive functions and dystrophin gene mutation position.


Fifty boys with dystrophinopathy (mean age, 11 years 0 months; ages range, 5 to 17 years) completed measures of intellectual functioning (IF), working memory and executive functioning [including Digit Span (working memory) and measures from the NIH Toolbox (selective attention/inhibitory control, set shifting, working memory, and processing speed)]. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Mutation positions were categorized into three groups (upstream exon 30, 31-62, and downstream exon 63). Paired-samples t tests compared performance on executive measures to IF, and a one-way (three-group) multivariate analysis of covariance compared cognitive performance with mutation location controlling for motor functioning.


Mean performance on all executive measures was significantly lower than IF. Parents were also more likely to rate their child with dystrophinopathy as having clinically significant executive difficulties on the Shift, Emotional Control, and Behavior Regulation indices of the BRIEF. Mutation analyses resulted in small groups limiting power to detect subtle differences. Those with a downstream mutation position had significantly poorer performance on IF and Total Digit Span, but not on other measures of executive function including behavior.


Individuals with dystrophinopathy have executive skill deficits, but they are not generally associated with more distal mutations. (JINS, 2019, 25, 146-155).


Cognition; Dystrophin; Executive functions; Intelligence; Isoforms; Mutations


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