Abstract: Deficits in executive function (EF) are reported to occur in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome (XXY). The degree of impairment, if any, is variable and the nature of these deficits has not been clearly elucidated in young males. In this report, we (a) examine EF skills using multiple tasks in a non-clinic referred group of youth with XXY, (b) describe the extent of EF weaknesses in XXY when this group is compared with typical males of a similar SES or typical males with similar verbal abilities, and (c) evaluate the contribution of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to EF skills. The sample included 27 males with XXY (ages 9–25), 27 typically developing age- and vocabulary-matched males, and 22 age- and socioeconomic status-matched males. EF tasks included Verbal Fluency, the Trail Making Test, and the CANTAB Spatial Working Memory and Stockings of Cambridge tasks. Mixed model analysis of variance was used to compare the groups on EF tasks and revealed a main effect of group but no group by task interaction. Overall, the XXY group performed less well than both control groups, but performance did not differ significantly as a function of task. ADHD comorbidity in males with XXY was related to poorer EF skills.
Authors: Nancy Raitano Lee, Gregory L. Wallace, Liv S. Clasen, Rhoshel K. Lenroot, Jonathan D. Blumenthal, Samantha L. White, Mark J. Celano, AND Jay N. Giedd
Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland