To investigate the impact of the microdeletion on morphology of the prefrontal cortex in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2 DS), high-resolution, anatomic magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 19 children and adolescents with 22q11.2 DS (11 females, 8 males) and 18 unaffected controls (10 females, 8 males). Tissue volumes of the dorsolateral, dorsomedial, orbitolateral, and orbitomedial prefrontal cortex were measured. Tasks of executive function and working memory were administered to investigate the association between anatomy and function. Whole brain volume and frontal lobe tissue volume were preserved in girls but reduced in boys with 22q11.2 DS relative to age-matched controls. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) volumes were reduced in participants with 22q11.2 DS, although the gender-by-diagnosis effect found for frontal lobe was not as robust for DLPFC. DLPFC volumes were associated with performance on tasks of planning and emotional facial recognition. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify whether gender differences in frontal lobe and DLPFC persist with development, and whether the volumes of the DLPFC are associated with eventual deterioration in adaptive/psychosocial function that may presage the onset of schizophrenia, for which individuals with 22q11.2 DS are at a disproportionately high risk.
- 22q11.2 DS
- Gender differences
- Prefrontal cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology