Neurocognitive functioning among children and young people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jayne Gregg, Colin Wilson, David Curran, Donncha Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The neurocognitive aspects of DMD have received less attention than the physiological sequalae. This study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of available literature on the neurocognitive profile of children and young people with DMD. Method: Five databases (EMBASE, Medline, PsycInfo, Scopus and Web of Science) and the grey literature was searched on 27th January 2023. Eligible articles were available in English and reported neurocognitive outcomes. Neurocognitive domains reported in a comparable way across a minimum of three studies were included. The neurocognitive domains of Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ), Verbal IQ (VIQ), Performance IQ (PIQ) and Working memory (WMI) derived from Wechsler scales and receptive vocabulary ability derived from the Peabody Picture Verbal Test (PPVT) were included. A single mean meta-analysis was completed. Results: Relevant data was extracted and presented for 38 eligible studies; 2 of which are from grey literature. Results suggest children with DMD perform around 1SD below non-clinical norms for FSIQ, PIQ, VIQ and WMI. Unlike VIQ, scores derived from the PPVT were within the non-clinical norms. Studies were of moderate – high quality, there was significant heterogeneity and no publication bias. Conclusion: A systematic review of working memory has not previously been completed, it appears that children with DMD perform around 1SD below the mean, like FSIQ, PIQVIQ and WMI. The PPVT is a measure of receptive verbal ability and caution is recommended around the interchangeability of PPVT scores and the wider construct of verbal intelligence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalThe Clinical Neuropsychologist
Early online date20 Mar 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 20 Mar 2024


  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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