In a presentation at the 3rd international conference on 22q11 in Barcelona, Johanna Maeder (University of Geneva) addressed learning & memory in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.
The hippocampus is a key structure in the brain for functions such as the ability to acquire, store and recall information over time, yet, its size is reduced in 22q11.2DS patients.
Experimenting on memory
In an experiment, memory was tested by 2 groups of patients: 45 with 22q11.2DS and 39 control group patients. The results showed that while the initial memory performance was relatively similar between the two patient groups, but patients with 22q11.2DS had a significantly lower performance after delays of 30 minutes; and this lower performance was even stronger after one day, one week or one month. The research also shows a higher degree of variance among the 22q11 patients, suggesting that not all patients are affected by this long-term memory impairment.
How to improve learning and memory with 22q11 patients?
Use the verbal channel:
– Give verbal instruction
– Repeat the information out loud when you learn
Spilt the information in small parts:
– Learn in small chunks
– Distribute it on different days
– Repeat the information several times
– Go back to information previously learned