Late cognitive event-related potentials in adult down's syndrome

Peter Vieregge*, Rolf Verleger, Harald Schulze-Rava, Detlef Kömpf

*Corresponding author for this work
22 Citations (Scopus)


Event-related electroencephalogram (EEG) potentials (ERPs) using two different tasks were measured in 14 adults with Down's syndrome (DS; mean age 32 years) without clinically detectable cognitive decline. Two groups, young healthy (YH) and old healthy (OH) adults, served as controls. In the oddball task, DS had prolonged N1 and earlier P2 latencies than the control groups. P3 latency was delayed in comparison to YH. In the PushWait task, P3 latency was later in DS than in YH and OH. In both tasks, DS showed a marked amplitude shift towards positivity overlapping the N1-P2 complex and seemingly also P3: The P3 amplitude evoked by target tones and by "Push" was shifted towards anterior sites resulting in a Cz maximum. Changes of the N1 latency and amplitude in DS may be related to enhanced arousal during stimulus processing, indicating a possible defect of central inhibitory mechanisms. The study suggests that differentiated ERP procedures provide information on adult DS cognition exceeding those given by mere P3 latency measurements. Such procedures may be useful in the evaluation of the cognitive decline due to precocious aging or Alzheimer-type dementia in DS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1118-1134
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 15.12.1992

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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