AUTHORS: Cantonas L, Tomescu M, Biria M, Jan R, Schneider M, Eliez S, Rihs T, Michel C

Translational Psychiatry, 9(1): 138, April 2019


The 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2 DS) is one of the highest genetic risk factors for the development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In schizophrenia, reduced amplitude of the frequency mismatch negativity (fMMN) has been proposed as a promising neurophysiological marker for progressive brain pathology. In this longitudinal study in 22q11.2 DS, we investigate the progression of fMMN between childhood and adolescence, a vulnerable period for brain maturation. We measured evoked potentials to auditory oddball stimuli in the same sample of 16 patients with 22q11.2 DS and 14 age-matched controls in childhood and adolescence. In addition, we cross-sectionally compared an increased sample of 51 participants with 22q11.2 DS and 50 controls divided into two groups (8-14 and 14-20 years). The reported results are obtained using the fMMN difference waveforms. In the longitudinal design, the 22q11.2 deletion carriers exhibit a significant reduction in amplitude and a change in topographic patterns of the mismatch negativity response from childhood to adolescence. The same effect, reduced mismatch amplitude in adolescence, while preserved during childhood, is observed in the cross-sectional study. These results point towards functional changes within the brain network responsible for the fMMN. In addition, the adolescents with 22q11.2 DS displayed a significant increase in amplitude over central electrodes during the auditory N1 component. No such differences, reduced mismatch response nor increased N1, were observed in the typically developing group. These findings suggest different developmental trajectories of early auditory sensory processing in 22q11.2 DS and functional changes that emerge during the critical period of increased risk for schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

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