Education & Behaviour
- Education Behaviour
- Education, Learning and Behaviour
Education Behaviour 1 mm
Although many individuals with Duchenne are highly intelligent and do well at school and university, it is undeniable that some have learning difficulties and some are diagnosed with more severe conditions such as autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Depression, anxiety and behavioural problems can also be issues faced by families. These problems can stem from several different sources or a combination of factors.
Firstly, it is known that the protein that is missing in Duchenne – dystrophin – has a role in the brain, although this is not fully understood as yet. For the majority (about 65%) intellect and cognitive abilities will not be affected, or only mildly affected, by the lack of dystrophin.
It is thought that this may be related to the location of the genetic change in the dystrophin gene. However, intellectual problems or learning difficulties do occur in approximately 35% of boys with Duchenne (the rate in girls is unknown). In these cases, working memory seems to be the worst affected.
This is the ability we have to hold in mind and mentally manipulate information over short periods of time, which is particularly important when following instructions and doing tasks such as mental arithmetic.