Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cognitive functions in children at risk for congenital adrenal hyperplasia treated prenatally with dexamethasone
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Show others and affiliations
2007 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, ISSN 0021-972X, E-ISSN 1945-7197, Vol. 92, no 2, 542-548 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context and Objective: In Sweden, from 1985 through 1995, 40 fetuses at risk for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) were treated with dexamethasone (DEX) to prevent virilization of affected females. We report long-term effects on neuropsychological functions and scholastic performance of this controversial treatment. Design and Patients: Prenatally treated children, 7 to 17 yr old, were assessed with standardized neuropsychological tests (A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment and Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children) and child-completed questionnaires measuring self-perceived scholastic competence (Self-Perception Profile for Children). A parent-completed questionnaire (Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 School Scale) was used to evaluate whether the treatment had any impact on the children's school performance. In addition, a child-completed questionnaire measuring social anxiety (The Social Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised) was completed by the prenatally treated children aged 8 to 17 yr (n = 21) and age- and sex-matched controls (n = 26). Results: Of 40 DEX-treated children, 26 (median age, 11 yr) participated in the study. Thirty-five sex- and age- matched healthy children were controls. There were no between-group differences concerning psychometric intelligence, measures of cerebral lateralization, memory encoding, and long-term memory. Short-term treated, CAH-unaffected children performed poorer than the control group on a test assessing verbal working memory (P = 0.003), and they rated lower on a questionnaire assessing self-perception of scholastic competence (P = 0.003). This group also showed increased self-rated social anxiety assessed by The Social Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised (P = 0.026). Prenatally treated, CAH-affected children performed poorer than controls on tests measuring verbal processing speed, although this difference disappeared when controlling for the child's full-scale IQ. Conclusions: This study indicates that prenatal DEX treatment is associated with previously not described long-term effects on verbal working memory and on certain aspects of self-perception that could be related to poorer verbal working memory. These findings may thus question future DEX treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Therefore, we encourage additional retrospective studies of larger cohorts to either confirm or challenge the present findings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 92, no 2, 542-548 p.
Keyword [en]
corticotropin-releasing hormone, social-anxiety-scale, 21-hydroxylase deficiency, 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, concurrent validity, fluid intelligence, working-memory, messenger-rna, follow-up, prevalence
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-57533DOI: 10.1210/jc.2006-1340ISI: 000244064900031OAI: diva2:416540
authorCount :7Available from: 2011-05-12 Created: 2011-05-11 Last updated: 2011-05-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lindholm, Torun
By organisation
Department of Psychology
In the same journal
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 27 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link