Attention Deficit Predicts Intellectual Functioning in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1

Heimgärtner, Magdalena; Granström, Sofia; Haas-Lude, Karin; Leark, Robert A.; Mautner, Victor-Felix; Lidzba, Karen (2019). Attention Deficit Predicts Intellectual Functioning in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. International journal of pediatrics, 2019, pp. 1-10. Hindawi 10.1155/2019/9493837

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Aims. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequent neurocognitive impairments in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and a well-known risk factor for intellectual dysfunction in general. Since NF1 is per se associated with intellectual difficulties, this comorbidity may be crucial for the cognitive development of affected patients. In our study, we investigated if attention deficits are associated with intellectual functioning in NF1 and if children with NF1 plus ADHD differ in their intellectual and attention profiles from children affected by NF1-only or ADHD only. Methods. 111 children aged between 6 and 12 years (53 NF1 plus ADHD, 28 NF1-only, 30 ADHD-only) performed the German version of the intelligence test WISC-IV and a continuous performance test (T.O.V.A.) to assess attention functions. Parents completed questionnaires about everyday attention and executive functions (Conners 3®, BRIEF). Results. Children with NF1 plus ADHD showed significantly lower intelligence test scores (full-scale IQ: 89.39 [1.40]) than patients with NF1-only (full-scale IQ: 101.14 [1.98]; ), and intellectual functioning correlated significantly with attention performance in NF1 ( ). As compared to NF1-only, attention, and executive functioning were impaired on several dimensions (T.O.V.A., Conners 3® and BRIEF) in NF1 plus ADHD. ADHD-only was associated with significantly higher problem scores regarding hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention (Conners 3®). NF1-only was associated with inattentiveness when compared to the normative sample of the T.O.V.A. Conclusion. NF1 is associated with variable attention problems. Severe attention deficits appear to be a risk factor for intellectual dysfunction in NF1, more than NF1 without attention deficit. NF1 plus ADHD presents a specific cognitive profile, which differs from that of NF1 and from neurotypical ADHD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Neuropaediatrics

UniBE Contributor:

Lidzba, Karen








Karen Lidzba

Date Deposited:

27 Dec 2019 12:58

Last Modified:

27 Dec 2019 13:07

Publisher DOI:





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