Executive functions were studied in 14 early and continuously treated PKU subjects (age 10.8 years, range 8-13) in comparison with controls matched for IQ, sex, age and socioeconomic status. Brain MRI examination was normal in all PKU patients. Neuropsychological evaluation included Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Rey-Osterreith Complex Figure Test, Elithorn's Perceptual Maze Test, Weigl's Sorting Test, Tower of London, Visual Search and Motor Motor Learning Test. Whatever the IQ, PKU subjects performed worse than controls in tests exploring executive functions. Subgrouping the PKU subjects according to the quality of dietary control for the entire follow-up period (using 400 micromol/L as cut-off value for blood phenylalanine (Phe) concentration) showed that patients with worse dietary control performed more poorly than both the PKU group with the best dietary control and the control group. However, a mild impairment of executive functions was still found in PKU patients with a good dietary control (Phe 400 micromol/L) compared to controls. Concerning the PKU group as a whole, no linear correlation was found between neuropsychological performance and historical and concurrent biochemical parameters. We conclude that (a) PKU patients, even when treated early, rigorously and continuously, show an impairment of frontal lobe functions; (b) a protracted exposure to moderately high levels of Phe can affect frontal lobe functions independently of the possible effect of the same exposure on IQ; (c) in order to reduce the risk of frontal lobe dysfunction, the target of dietary therapy should be to maintain blood Phe concentration below 400 micromol/L.
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|Titolo:||Executive function impairment in early - treated PKU subjects with normal mental development|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2004|
|Appare nella tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|