Cognitive remediation for adolescents with 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS): a preliminary study examining effectiveness, feasibility, and fidelity of a hybrid strategy, remote and computer-based intervention.
ABSTRACT: 22q11DS is a multiple anomaly syndrome involving intellectual and behavioral deficits, and increased risk for schizophrenia. As cognitive remediation (CR) has recently been found to improve cognition in younger patients with schizophrenia, we investigated the efficacy, feasibility, and fidelity of a remote, hybrid strategy, computerized CR program in youth with 22q11DS.A longitudinal design was implemented in which 21 participants served as their own controls. Following an eight month baseline period in which no interventions were provided, cognitive coaches met with participants remotely for CR via video conferencing three times a week over a targeted 8month timeframe and facilitated their progress through the intervention, offering task-specific strategies. A subset of strategies were examined for fidelity. Outcomes were evaluated using a neurocognitive test battery at baseline, pre-treatment and post-treatment.All participants adhered to the intervention. The mean length of the treatment phase was 7.96months. A moderately high correlation (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.73) was found for amount and type of strategies offered by coaches. Participants exhibited significant improvements (ES=.36-.55, p?.009) in working memory, shifting attention and cognitive flexibility. All significant models were driven by improvements in pre to post-treatment scores.Based on our preliminary investigation, a remote, hybrid strategy, computerized CR program can be implemented with 22q11DS youth despite geographic location, health, and cognitive deficits. It appears effective in enhancing cognitive skills during the developmental period of adolescence, making this type of CR delivery useful for youth with 22q11DS transitioning into post-school environments.
Project description:Adults with 22q11.2 Deletion syndrome (22q11DS) have increased prevalence of schizophrenia features. Our goal is to compare the neurocognitive profile in 22q11DS, schizophrenia and individuals at risk for schizophrenia. Twenty-one 22q11DS patients (8-32 years, mean 14.9 years, 15M, 6F) were matched to four comparison groups on age: low risk (n?=?21), first-degree family members of schizophrenia patients (genetic risk, n?=?20), individuals exhibiting putatively prodromal symptoms (clinical risk, n?=?19), and patients with schizophrenia (n?=?21). All participants received semi-structured interviews [Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS) and the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS)], and a computerized neurocognitive battery (CNB) measuring the following domains: Abstraction and Mental Flexibility, Attention, Working Memory, Verbal Memory, Face Memory, Spatial Memory, Language, Spatial Processing, Sensorimotor Dexterity, and Emotion Processing. Sixty percent of 22q11DS participants met SIPS criteria for prodromal symptoms and one participant met criteria for paranoid schizophrenia. Thirty-eight percent met criteria for Depressive Disorders. All 22q11DS participants successfully completed the CNB. 22q11DS participants were significantly less accurate in nearly all domains, but had similar speed of response compared to the other groups. Their profile resembled that of the psychosis groups in accuracy and speed, except for more pronounced deficits in accuracy for face memory and emotion processing. Subthreshold psychotic symptoms are present in a high proportion of 22q11DS participants. Deficits shown in the CNB are more pronounced for accuracy than speed relative to the psychosis groups with similar profiles. Similar deficits have been described in the 22q11DS population using non-computerized measures, which require increased testing time.
Project description:22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) represents one of the largest known genetic risk factors for psychosis, yet the neurobiological mechanisms underlying symptom development are not well understood. Here we conducted a cross-sectional study of 22q11DS to decompose cortical volume into its constituent parts, cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA), which are believed to have distinct neurodevelopmental origins.High-resolution T1-weighted scans were collected on 65 participants (31 22q11DS, 34 demographically comparable typically developing controls, 10-25 years old). Measures of cortical volume, CT, and SA were extracted from regions of interest using the FreeSurfer image analysis suite. Group differences and age-related trajectories in these structures, as well as their association with psychotic symptomatology, were assessed.Relative to controls, 22q11DS participants showed bilateral volumetric reductions in the inferior temporal cortex, fusiform gyrus, anterior cingulate, superior parietal cortex, and cuneus, which were driven by decreased SA in these regions. 22q11DS participants also had increased volumes, driven by increased CT, in bilateral insula regions. 22q11DS youth had increased CT in frontal regions, particularly middle frontal and medial orbitofrontal cortices. A pattern of age-associated cortical thinning was observed in typically developing controls in brain regions associated with visual and sensory information-processing (i.e., left pericalcarine cortex and fusiform gyrus, right lingual and postcentral cortices). However, this relationship was disrupted in 22q11DS participants. Finally, correlational analyses revealed that increased CT in right medial orbitofrontal cortex was associated with increased positive symptom severity in 22q11DS.Differential disruptions of CT and SA in distinct cortical regions in 22q11DS may indicate abnormalities in distinct developmental neural processes. Further, neuroanatomic abnormalities in medial frontal brain structures disproportionately affected in idiopathic schizophrenia were associated with psychotic symptom severity in 22q11DS youth, suggesting that disrupted biological processes in these cortical regions may underlie development of psychotic symptoms, both in 22q11DS and in the broader population.
Project description:Olfactory functioning is a promising biomarker for psychosis in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) but has not been well studied to date. This is a pilot effort to evaluate the potential for tests of olfactory functioning to contribute to risk and resilience prediction in 22q11DS, and is the first study to evaluate relationships among olfactory deficits, cognition and psychosis-spectrum symptoms. Odor identification and discrimination were evaluated in 32 individuals with 22q11DS and 110 healthy comparison subjects (HC). Individuals with 22q11DS also underwent cognitive testing with the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery, which evaluates executive functioning, episodic memory, complex cognition, and social cognition. Positive, negative, disorganized and general psychosis-spectrum symptoms were rated according to the Scale of Prodromal Symptoms. Age-normalized scores were calculated for odor identification and discrimination based on normative data. Both odor identification (p?<?0.001, Cohen's d?=?-2.15, 95% CI [-2.62, -1.68]) and discrimination (p?<?0.001, Cohen's d?=?-1.81, 95% CI [-2.26, -1.35]) were significantly impaired in 22q11DS relative to HC. There were no sex differences in either group. Neither odor identification nor discrimination was correlated with overall cognition or any specific cognitive domain in 22q11DS. Impairment in odor discrimination was correlated with higher negative and overall psychosis-spectrum symptoms. There was no significant effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val(158)Met genotype or presence of velopharyngeal insufficiency on olfactory functioning. Olfactory deficits, particularly olfactory discrimination, are robust in 22q11DS and appear to be independent of cognitive deficits. They are also clinically relevant and related to psychosis-spectrum symptoms. Olfactory functioning appears to be a promising biomarker for psychosis in 22q11DS.
Project description:Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) are at markedly elevated risk for schizophrenia-related disorders. Stability, emergence, remission and persistence of psychosis-spectrum symptoms were investigated longitudinally. Demographic, clinical and cognitive predictors of psychosis were assessed. Prospective follow-up over 2.8 years was undertaken in 75 individuals with 22q11DS aged 8-35 years. Mood, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders and psychosis-spectrum symptoms were assessed with the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia and Scale of Prodromal Symptoms (SOPS). Four domains of cognition were evaluated with the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (executive functioning, memory, complex cognition and social cognition). Psychotic disorder or clinically significant SOPS-positive ratings were consistently absent in 35%, emergent in 13%, remitted in 22% and persistent in 31% of participants. Negative symptoms and functional impairment were found to be predictive of the emergence of positive psychosis-spectrum symptoms and to reflect ongoing deficits after remission of positive symptoms. Dysphoric mood and anxiety were predictive of emergent and persistent-positive psychosis-spectrum symptoms. Lower baseline global cognition and greater global cognitive decline were predictive of psychosis-spectrum outcomes but no particular cognitive domain stood out as being significantly more discriminating than others. Our findings suggest that negative symptoms, functioning and dysphoric mood are important predictors of psychosis risk in this population.
Project description:To evaluate the awareness of concussion-related symptoms amongst members of the sports community in Canada.A cross-sectional national electronic survey was conducted. Youth athletes, parents, coaches and medical professionals across Canada were recruited through mailing lists from sports-related opt-in marketing databases. Participants were asked to identify, from a list of options, the symptoms of a concussion. The proportion of identified symptoms (categorized as physical, cognitive, mental health-related and overall) as well as participant factors associated with symptom recognition were analyzed.The survey elicited 6,937 responses. Most of the respondents (92.1%) completed the English language survey, were male (57.7%), 35-54 years of age (61.7%), with post-secondary education (58.2%), or high reported yearly household income (>$80,000; 53.0%). There were respondents from all provinces and territories with the majority of respondents from Ontario (35.2%) or British Columbia (19.1%). While participants identified most of the physical (mean = 84.2% of symptoms) and cognitive (mean = 91.2% of symptoms), they on average only identified 53.5% of the mental health-related symptoms of concussions. Respondents who were older, with higher education and household income, or resided in the Northwest Territories or Alberta identified significantly more of the mental health-related symptoms listed.While Canadian youth athletes, parents, coaches and medical professionals are able to identify most of the physical and cognitive symptoms associated with concussion, identification of mental health-related symptoms of concussion is still lagging.
Project description:BACKGROUND:22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a genetic disorder that greatly increases risk of developing schizophrenia. We previously characterized cerebral surface morphology trajectories from late childhood to mid adolescence in a cohort of youth with 22q11DS. Herein, we extend the study period into early adulthood, and describe further the trajectories associated with severe psychiatric symptoms in this cohort. METHODS:Participants included 76 youth with 22q11DS and 30 unaffected siblings, assessed at three timepoints, during which high resolution, anatomic magnetic resonance images were acquired. High-dimensional, nonlinear warping algorithms were applied to images in order to derive characteristics of cerebral surface morphology for each participant at each timepoint. Repeated-measures, linear regressions using a mixed model were conducted, while covarying for age and sex. RESULTS:Alterations in cerebral surface morphology during late adolescence/early adulthood in individuals with 22q11DS were observed in the lateral frontal, orbitofrontal, temporal, parietal, occipital, and cerebellar regions. An Age x Diagnosis interaction revealed that relative to unaffected siblings, individuals with 22q11DS showed age-related surface protrusions in the prefrontal cortex (which remained stable or increased during early adulthood), and surface indentations in posterior regions (which seemed to level off during late adolescence). Symptoms of psychosis were associated with a trajectory of surface indentations in the orbitofrontal and parietal regions. CONCLUSIONS:These results advance our understanding of cerebral maturation in individuals with 22q11DS, and provide clinically relevant information about the psychiatric phenotype associated with the longitudinal trajectory of cortical surface morphology in youth with this genetic syndrome.
Project description:22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a genetic mutation associated with disorders of cortical connectivity and social dysfunction. However, little is known about the functional connectivity (FC) of the resting brain in 22q11DS and its relationship with social behavior. A seed-based analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data was used to investigate FC associated with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), in (26) youth with 22qDS and (51) demographically matched controls. Subsequently, the relationship between PCC connectivity and Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) scores was examined in 22q11DS participants. Relative to 22q11DS participants, controls showed significantly stronger FC between the PCC and other default mode network (DMN) nodes, including the precuneus, precentral gyrus and left frontal pole. 22q11DS patients did not show age-associated FC changes observed in typically developing controls. Increased connectivity between PCC, medial prefrontal regions and the anterior cingulate cortex, was associated with lower SRS scores (i.e. improved social competence) in 22q11DS. DMN integrity may play a key role in social information processing. We observed disrupted DMN connectivity in 22q11DS, paralleling reports from idiopathic autism and schizophrenia. Increased strength of long-range DMN connectivity was associated with improved social functioning in 22q11DS. These findings support a 'developmental-disconnection' hypothesis of symptom development in this disorder.
Project description:Children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) present with congenital heart disease (CHD) and high prevalence of psychiatric disorders and neurocognitive deficits. Although CHD has been implicated in neurodevelopment, its role in the neuropsychiatric outcome in 22q11DS is poorly understood. We investigated whether CHD contributes to the high prevalence of psychiatric disorders and neurocognitive impairments in 22q11DS. Fifty-four children ages 8-14 years with 22q11DS and 16 age-matched non-deleted children with CHD participated. They were assessed using semi-structured interviews and a Computerized Neurocognitive Battery. CHD status was assessed using available medical records. Prevalence of psychiatric disorders and cognitive profiles were compared among the groups. There were no significant differences between the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the 22q11DS with and without CHD. In 22q11DS with CHD, the prevalence rates were 41% anxiety disorders, 37% ADHD and 71% psychosis spectrum. In 22q11DS without CHD, the rates were 33% anxiety disorders, 41% ADHD and 64% psychosis spectrum. In comparison, the non-deleted CHD group had lower rates of psychopathology (25% anxiety disorders, 6% ADHD, and 13% psychosis spectrum). Similarly, the 22q11DS groups, regardless of CHD status, had significantly greater neurocognitive deficits across multiple domains, compared to the CHD-only group. We conclude that CHD in this sample of children with 22q11.2DS does not have a major impact on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and is not associated with increased neurocognitive deficits. These findings suggest that the 22q11.2 deletion status itself may confer significant neuropsychiatric vulnerability in this population.
Project description:Objective:Persistent violent and antisocial behavior, as manifested in conduct disorder (CD) traits, are associated with a range of cognitive deficits. Individuals with more severe cognitive deficits are more likely to commit violent crimes. Currently, no treatments target improving cognition in high-risk CD youth. This pilot study tests the feasibility and efficacy of delivering intensive tablet-based cognitive training (CT) to adolescent males incarcerated in a youth maximum-security prison. Methods:Participants were fourteen adolescent males, diagnosed with CD. All participants completed up to 30 h of unsupervised, intensive, adaptive CT exercises that targeted multiple neurocognitive domains, as well as a battery of standardized neurocognitive measures and computerized assessments at baseline and post-training. Conclusions and Implications for Practice:At baseline, participants exhibited significant impairments on neurocognitive measures, relative to age-matched healthy controls. Twelve participants completed training and showed evidence of target engagement, as indexed by improvement in cognitive processing speed. Significant gains were observed in measures of global cognition, with additional gains in cognitive flexibility at trend level significance. Improvements in these measures were positively related to total training time. In summary, both assessments and intervention appear to be feasible, tolerable, and acceptable in incarcerated youth. Intensive CT shows preliminary efficacy in improving neurocognitive performance in key domains, with large effect sizes, and significant performance improvement associations with the time in training.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Sports clubs form a potential setting for health promotion, but the research is limited. The aim of the Health Promoting Sports Club (HPSC) study was to elucidate the current health promotion activities of youth sports clubs and coaches, and to investigate the health behaviours and health status of youth participating in sports clubs compared to non-participants. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:The study design employs cross-sectional multilevel and multimethod research with aspirations to a prospective cohort study in the next phase. The setting-based variables at sports clubs and coaching levels, and health behaviour variables at the individual level, are investigated using surveys; and total levels of physical activity are assessed using objective accelerometer measurements. Health status variables will be measured by preparticipation screening. The health promotion activity of sports clubs (n=154) is evaluated by club officials (n=313) and coaches (n=281). Coaches and young athletes aged 14-16 (n=759) years evaluate the coaches' health promotion activity. The survey of the adolescents' health behaviours consist of two data sets-the first is on their health behaviours and the second is on musculoskeletal complaints and injuries. Data are collected via sports clubs (759 participants) and schools 1650 (665 participants and 983 non-participants). 591 (418 athletes and 173 non-athletes) youth, have already participated in preparticipation screening. Screening consists of detailed personal medical history, electrocardiography, flow-volume spirometry, basic laboratory analyses and health status screening, including posture, muscle balance, and static and dynamic postural control tests, conducted by sports and exercise medicine specialists. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The HPSC study is carried out conforming with the declaration of Helsinki. Ethical approval was received from the Ethics Committee of Health Care District of Central Finland. The HPSC study is close-to-practice, which generates foundations for development work within youth sports clubs.