Aim: An observational longitudinal study to evaluate the feasibility of assessing cognitive, neuropsychological and emotional-behavioural functioning in children with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), and to estimate prospectively changes in functioning over time.Method: Ten DM1 patients, aged 1.5-16 years (mean 9.1), 5 with congenital DM1, and 5 with childhood DM1, were assessed with standardized measures of intellectual, neuropsychological, and emotional-behavioural functioning. For 6 patients, assessments were repeated 2 years later.Results: At baseline, intellectual disability was found both in the congenital and the childhood group. A clear-cut reduction of the mean and individual developmental/intelligence quotient after 2 years was demonstrated in retested patients. As regards to the neuropsychological aspects, the baseline evaluation identified impairments in visuospatial skills and attentional functions, with no clear trend observed after two years. In executive functions, no significant profile was identified even though impairments were detected in a few patients. At the emotionalbehavioural assessment, scores in clinical range were found, but they remained heterogeneous and no trends could be recognized.Conclusion: Several aspects of CNS functions in DM1 children deserve better definition and a longitudinal assessment. A comprehensive protocol should include cognitive, neuropsychological, emotional and behavioural assessment but larger longitudinal studies are needed to better evaluate the trajectories over time and inform practice.
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