Psychiatric Disorders and Distal 21q Deletion-A Case Report

Briegel W, Hoyer J (2020)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2020


Book Volume: 17

Journal Issue: 9

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17093096


Partial deletion of chromosome 21q is a very rare genetic condition with highly variable phenotypic features including heart defects, high or cleft palate, brain malformations (e.g., cerebral atrophy), developmental delay and intellectual disability. So far, there is very limited knowledge about psychiatric disorders and their effective treatment in this special population. To fill this gap, the authors present the case of an initially five-year-old girl with distal deletion (del21q22.2) and comorbid oppositional defiant disorder (main psychiatric diagnosis) covering a period of time of almost four years comprising initial psychological/psychiatric assessment, subsequent treatment with Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and follow-up assessments. Post-intervention results including a 19-month follow-up indicated good overall efficacy of PCIT and high parental satisfaction with the treatment. This case report makes a substantial contribution to enhancing knowledge on psychiatric comorbidity and its effective treatment in patients with terminal 21q deletion. Moreover, it emphasizes the necessity of multidisciplinarity in diagnosis and treatment due to the variety of anomalies associated with 21q deletion. Regular screenings for psychiatric disorders and (if indicated) thorough psychological and psychiatric assessment seem to be reasonable in most affected children, as children with developmental delays are at increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders. As demonstrated with this case report, PCIT seems to be a good choice to effectively reduce disruptive behaviors in young children with partial deletion of chromosome 21q.

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Briegel, W., & Hoyer, J. (2020). Psychiatric Disorders and Distal 21q Deletion-A Case Report. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(9).


Briegel, Wolfgang, and Juliane Hoyer. "Psychiatric Disorders and Distal 21q Deletion-A Case Report." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17.9 (2020).

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