Purpose Cowden syndrome (CS) is an autosomal dominant disease related to germline PTEN variants and is characterised by multiple hamartomas, increased risk of cancers and frequent brain alteration. Since the behaviour of patients with CS sometimes appears to be inappropriate, we analysed their neuropsychological functioning.
Methods This monocentric study was conducted between July 2018 and February 2020. A standardised neuropsychological assessment, including an evaluation of social cognition, executive functions, language and dexterity, as well as a cerebral MRI were systematically proposed to all patients with CS. Moreover, PTEN variants were identified.
Results Fifteen patients from 13 families were included, with six non-sense (40%), three missense (20%), five frameshift (33.3%) and one splice site (6.6%) variant types. Twelve patients (80%) had altered social cognition: 10 patients had an abnormal modified Faux-Pas score and 5 had Ekman’s facial emotions recognition impairment. Nearly all patients (93%) had impaired dexterity. Cerebral MRI showed various cerebellar anomalies in seven patients (46.7%).
Conclusion Altered social cognition and impaired fine dexterity are frequently associated with CS. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to determine whether dexterity impairment is due to the effect of germline PTEN variants in the cerebellum.
- germline mutation
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. Data contain sensitive patient informations: demographic and genetic data. To obtain them, please contact the corresponding author.
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Contributors Conception and design of the work: CD, BG, FC and CB. Data collection: CD, CB, BG and ADL. Data analysis and interpretation: CD, CB and BG. Drafting the article: CD. Critical revision of the article: BG, FC, BD, DB, GB, ML and ADL. Final approval of the version to be published: CD and BG. Guarantor responsable of the overall content: BG.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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