Forty-one boys diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) were each compared to an unaffected sibling on a battery of neuropsychological tests. Verbal, visuospatial, attention/memory, abstract thinking, and academic achievement skills were tested. Results indicated the boys with DMD performed similarly to their siblings on the majority of measures, indicating intact verbal, visuospatial, long-term memory, and abstract skills. However, the DMD group did significantly more poorly than their siblings on specific measures of story recall, digit span, and auditory comprehension, as well as in all areas of academic achievement (reading, writing, and math). This profile indicates that verbal working memory skills are selectively impaired in DMD, and that that likely contributes to limited academic achievement. The association between the known impact of the genetic mutation on the development of the central nervous system and boys' cognitive profile is discussed. (JINS, 2001, 7, 45–54.)
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