Cognitive deficits in childhood, adolescence and adulthood in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and association with psychopathology

S. Morrison, S.J.R.A. Chawner, T.A.M.J. van Amelsvoort, A. Swillen, C. Vingerhoets, E. Vergaelen, D.E.J. Linden, S. Linden, M.J. Owen, M.B.M. van den Bree*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS) is associated with high risk of psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment. It remains unclear to what extent key cognitive skills are associated with psychopathology, and whether cognition is stable over time in 22q11.2DS. 236 children, adolescents and adults with 22q11.2DS and 106 typically developing controls were recruited from three sites across Europe. Measures of IQ, processing speed, sustained attention, spatial working memory and psychiatric assessments were completed. Cognitive performance in individuals was calculated relative to controls in different age groups (children (6-9 years), adolescents (10-17 years), adults (18+ years)). Individuals with 22q11.2DS exhibited cognitive impairment and higher rates of psychiatric disorders compared to typically developing controls. Presence of Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms was associated with greater deficits in processing speed, sustained attention and working memory in adolescents but not children. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents and psychotic disorder in adulthood was associated with sustained attention impairment. Processing speed and working memory were more impaired in children and adults with 22q11.2DS respectively, whereas the deficit in sustained attention was present from childhood and remained static over developmental stages. Psychopathology was associated with cognitive profile of individuals with 22q11.2DS in an age-specific and domain-specific manner. Furthermore, magnitude of cognitive impairment differed by developmental stage in 22q11.2DS and the pattern differed by domain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020


  • autism spectrum
  • behavior
  • children
  • duplication
  • individuals
  • neurocognitive profile
  • psychiatric-disorders
  • psychosis
  • risk
  • schizophrenia
  • RISK

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