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Am J Med Genet. 1998 Sep 1;79(2):140-7.

Transition to young adulthood in Ullrich-Turner syndrome: neurodevelopmental changes.

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Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Studies describing the neurocognitive profile of Ullrich-Turner syndrome (UTS) have focused primarily on neurodevelopmental changes in childhood and adolescence or in adults with UTS. The objective of the present study was to describe neurodevelopmental changes that occur in UTS females during the transition from adolescence to young-adulthood. The subjects included 99 females with UTS and 89 normal female controls matched for age and socioeconomic status. Subjects were between the ages of 13 and 21 years. All subjects received a battery of neurocognitive tests designed to assess general cognitive ability, academic achievement, memory, language, executive function, visual-spatial/perceptual and motor skills, affect recognition, attention, and motor skills. Results from our study indicated that females with UTS performed significantly less well than controls on measures of spatial/perceptual skills, visual-motor integration, affect recognition, visual memory, attentional abilities, and executive function, consistent with previous reports of cognitive abilities in adolescent UTS females. Moreover, our results indicate that decreased performance in some of these areas persists through late adolescence and into early adulthood while improvement occurs in other areas. It is possible that catch-up in certain cognitive deficiencies in UTS females represents a maturational/developmental lag. Alternatively, the neurodevelopmental changes that were observed in UTS females may result from the cumulative effects of estrogen replacement therapy during adolescence. Therapeutic interventions specific to the demands of young-adulthood are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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