Neuropsychological assessment of cerebellar malformation in Spina Bifida
© The Author(s) 2004
Published: 23 December 2004
It is widely agreed that the typical cognitive profile of children with spina bifida is influenced by medical variables such as hydrocephalus, the height of the lesion and other physical complications . However, very little is known about the specific contribution of the Arnold-Chiari malformation (ACM) in the information processing of these children. The aim of this study is to delineate in the cognitive profile the specific contribution of the ACM by comparing within a group of children with spina bifida among those with and without ACM.
Materials and Methods
Non-retarded group (TIQ>70)
Results reveal significant differences in information processing among the children with and those without ACM. In the complete group, children with ACM performed significantly worse on the following cognitive functions: perception, visual-motor integration, verbal functioning, sequential memory, (non)verbal speed, and arithmetics. For the non-retarded group the data reveals a different cognitive profile. In this group, children with ACM showed impairments on tasks which require perception, imprinting and verbal memory, and verbal fluency.
In the complete group, a cognitive profile of strengths and weaknesses was found that resembles the one associated with hydrocephalus and spina bifida as presented in the literature. However, this typical cognitive profile was not found for the non-retarded group. The non-retarded ACM group showed impairments on cognitive tasks which are hypothesized to be mediated by the cerebellum and can be compared to cognitive deficits related to cerebellar pathology.
This study is part of the multidisciplinary research program 'Prognosis of Spina Bifida' of the Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands).
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