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Genetic contributions to visuospatial cognition in Williams syndrome: insights from two contrasting partial deletion patients

Broadbent, Hannah, Farran, Emily K., Chin, Esther, Metcalfe, Kay, Tassabehji, May, Turnpenny, Peter, Sansbury, Francis, Meaburn, Emma and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette (2014) Genetic contributions to visuospatial cognition in Williams syndrome: insights from two contrasting partial deletion patients JOURNAL OF NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS, 6 (ARTN 1).

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Abstract

Background Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder arising from a hemizygotic deletion of approximately 27 genes on chromosome 7, at locus 7q11.23. WS is characterised by an uneven cognitive profile, with serious deficits in visuospatial tasks in comparison to relatively proficient performance in some other cognitive domains such as language and face processing. Individuals with partial genetic deletions within the WS critical region (WSCR) have provided insights into the contribution of specific genes to this complex phenotype. However, the combinatorial effects of different genes remain elusive. Methods We report on visuospatial cognition in two individuals with contrasting partial deletions in the WSCR: one female (HR), aged 11 years 9 months, with haploinsufficiency for 24 of the WS genes (up to GTF2IRD1), and one male (JB), aged 14 years 2 months, with the three most telomeric genes within the WSCR deleted, or partially deleted. Results Our in-depth phenotyping of the visuospatial domain from table-top psychometric, and small- and large-scale experimental tasks reveal a profile in HR in line with typically developing controls, albeit with some atypical features. These data are contrasted with patient JB’s atypical profile of strengths and weaknesses across the visuospatial domain, as well as with more substantial visuospatial deficits in individuals with the full WS deletion. Conclusions Our findings point to the contribution of specific genes to spatial processing difficulties associated with WS, highlighting the multifaceted nature of spatial cognition and the divergent effects of genetic deletions within the WSCR on different components of visuospatial ability. The importance of general transcription factors at the telomeric end of the WSCR, and their combinatorial effects on the WS visuospatial phenotype are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Broadbent, Hannah
Farran, Emily K.e.farran@surrey.ac.uk
Chin, Esther
Metcalfe, Kay
Tassabehji, May
Turnpenny, Peter
Sansbury, Francis
Meaburn, Emma
Karmiloff-Smith, Annette
Date : 15 July 2014
DOI : 10.1186/1866-1955-6-18
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2014 Broadbent et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Clinical Neurology, Neurosciences, Neurosciences & Neurology, Williams syndrome, Visuospatial cognition, Navigation, GTF2I, GTF2IRD1, LIMK1, MENTAL ROTATION, BEUREN-SYNDROME, PERSPECTIVE-TAKING, SPATIAL COGNITION, DEVELOPMENTAL TRAJECTORIES, VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT, TYPICAL DEVELOPMENT, ROUTE, INDIVIDUALS, NAVIGATION
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 26 Jun 2019 15:25
Last Modified : 26 Jun 2019 15:25
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/850213

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