Genetics Home > Turner Syndrome Abilities

Although it is difficult to predict the effects of Turner syndrome, abilities such as intelligence and verbal skills are usually normal in people with this condition. Sometimes people with Turner syndrome may have problems with memory, as well as difficulty with visual-spatial coordination tasks, such as learning math or mentally rotating objects in space. In the case of memory and motor coordination problems, estrogen treatment is usually helpful for people with Turner syndrome.

An Introduction to Turner Syndrome Abilities

For each individual situation, it is difficult to say what the impact of Turner syndrome will be on a person's abilities.
Turner Syndrome Abilities: Intelligence and Verbal Skills
In general, individuals with Turner syndrome have normal intelligence. This is very different than other chromosomal syndromes, such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21).
The verbal skills of individuals with Turner syndrome are usually normal.
Turner Syndrome Abilities: Turner Neurocognitive Phenotype
However, girls and women with Turner syndrome may have difficulty with specific visual-spatial coordination tasks (e.g., mentally rotating objects in space) and learning math (geometry and arithmetic). This very specific learning problem has been termed the "Turner neurocognitive phenotype" and appears to be due to loss of X chromosome genes, which are important for selected aspects of nervous system development.
About 7 to 8 out of 10 women with Turner syndrome will have visual-spatial problems and behavioral problems.
Turner Syndrome Abilities: Memory and Coordination
Some girls and women with Turner syndrome experience difficulties with memory and motor coordination. These problems may be related to estrogen deficiency; individuals often improve when given estrogen treatment.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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