Cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome: Insights from Joubert syndrome

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Background: Joubert syndrome (JS) is a rare, autosomal recessively inherited genetic disorder characterized morphologically by unique developmental malformations of the cerebellum and brainstem (the molar tooth sign), and clinically by impaired motor functions and intellectual disability. Patients with JS often face multiple cognitive challenges, but the neuropsychological profile of this condition has not been well characterized. Methods: We performed comprehensive neurological and neuropsychological evaluations in three adult brothers with JS, ages 32, 27, and 25 years. Results: They all exhibited impaired motor control, global developmental delay most evident in executive function, affect regulation, and social skill set, and similar patterns of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Conclusions: These findings provide new insights into the intellectual and neurobehavioral phenotype of JS, which we regard as a developmental form of the cerebellar cognitive affective / Schmahmann syndrome (CCAS). These observations have direct clinical relevance for the diagnosis and care of patients with JS, and they help further the understanding of the multiple manifestations of atypical cerebrocerebellar development.




Hickey, C. L., Sherman, J. C., Goldenberg, P., Kritzer, A., Caruso, P., Schmahmann, J. D., & Colvin, M. K. (2018). Cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome: Insights from Joubert syndrome. Cerebellum and Ataxias, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40673-018-0085-y

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