Neuroanatomic and Neuropsychological Outcome in School-Age Children With Achondroplasia

Am J Med Genet. 1999 Apr 16;88(2):145-53. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19990416)88:2<145::aid-ajmg10>;2-b.


We previously reported on cognitive and respiratory factors in a series of infants with achondroplasia (ACH). We now present the results of neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging in 16 school-age children with ACH, 7 of whom had been included as infants in our previous report. We examined the neuroanatomic and cognitive status of this sample, as well as the predictive stability of the prior infant assessment. Seventeen normally developing children of average stature and 21 preterm children with arrested (compensated, unshunted) hydrocephalus constituted the comparison groups. Brain volumes of children with ACH were significantly larger than those of the comparison groups. In addition, children with ACH exhibited kinking of the medulla and neuroanatomic abnormalities consistent with arrested hydrocephalus, including enlarged ventricles and hypoplasia of the corpus callosum. Cognitive abilities at school age were average, although mild deficits were seen on visual-spatial tasks, similar to those obtained by the hydrocephalic comparison group. Only gross motor coordination deficits distinguished the ACH group from the hydrocephalic controls. Infant assessment overestimated later school-age IQ scores in those infants with ACH who scored above average. These findings point to generally preserved cognitive skills in selected children with ACH at early school age, although children with ACH should be evaluated individually as they are at risk for cognitive, academic, and motor deficits.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achondroplasia / genetics*
  • Achondroplasia / pathology
  • Achondroplasia / physiopathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Behavior
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Motor Skills
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Visual Perception