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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 38

of 'Ataxia-telangiectasia'

Cognitive phenotype in ataxia-telangiectasia.
Hoche F, Frankenberg E, Rambow J, Theis M, Harding JA, Qirshi M, Seidel K, Barbosa-Sicard E, Porto L, Schmahmann JD, Kieslich M
Pediatr Neurol. 2014 Sep;51(3):297-310. Epub 2014 May 5.
BACKGROUND: Pediatric cerebrocerebellar neurodegenerative disorders such as ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) have not been examined in detail for neuropsychologic changes. Such studies may contribute to the further understanding of ataxia-telangiectasia and to the role of the cerebrocerebellar system in the development of cognitive function in childhood.
METHODS: Twenty-two patients with the classic phenotype of ataxia-telangiectasia were grouped into early stage cerebellar disease (group AT-I) versus late stage cerebrocerebellar disease (group AT-II) and examined for neurocognitive features. Results were compared with those of healthy control subjects and with standard norms.
RESULTS: Patients in AT-I group scored low average compared with standard norms on all tests and were impaired compared with healthy control subjects for verbal intelligence quotient (P < 0.001), vocabulary and comprehension (P = 0.007), processing speed (P = 0.005), visuospatial processing (P = 0.020), and working memory (P = 0.046). Patients in AT-II group scored below average compared with standard norms on all tests and were impaired compared with control subjects for attention (P < 0.001), working memory (P < 0.001), and abstract reasoning (P < 0.001). Comprehension scores were lower for patients in AT-II than in AT-I group (P = 0.002), whereas vocabulary scores showed no difference between groups (P = 0.480).
CONCLUSION: Cognitive impairments in ataxia-telangiectasia present early, coinciding with cerebellar pathology and are characteristic of the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome. Widespread and deeper cognitive deficits manifest in later stages of ataxia-telangiectasia when additional noncerebellar pathology develops. These results are the first indications of distinct cerebellar and extracerebellar and/or subcortical contributions to the range of cognitive domains affected in ataxia-telangiectasia and need to be confirmed in future studies.
Cognitive Behavioral Neurology Unit, Ataxia Unit, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Neuropediatrics, Children's Hospital, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address: fhoche@mgh.harvard.edu.