NF1: Learning Problems

Learning disabilities are common in nuerofibromatosis (NF1) with educational difficulties being seen in approximately 40-60% of individuals. Additional educational resources will be needed by many individuals with NF1 to help them reach their potential. The school system should be informed of the association of learning disabilities in NF1 with a recommendation for a full evaluation and an individualized program to optimize educational outcomes.
Reports have also shown an association between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and NF1 [Koth: 2000]. Patients with symptoms should be screened for ADHD and, if positive, appropriately managed. Treatment should be the same as individuals without NF1.
Individuals with a large NF1 gene deletion have been noted to have an increased chance for cognitive/developmental delay [Viskochil: 2010]. A karyotype and FISH (flourescence in situ hybridization) looking for an NF1 gene deletion can be performed when cognitive impairment is a prominent feature.


Information & Support

For Professionals

Genetics in Primary Care Institute (AAP)
Contains health supervision guidelines and other useful resources for the care of children with genetic disorders; American Academy of Pediatrics.

Authors & Reviewers

Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: David A. Stevenson, MD
Reviewers: Karin Dent, MS, CGC
David Viskochil, MD, Ph.D.

Page Bibliography

Koth CW, Cutting LE, Denckla MB.
The association of neurofibromatosis type 1 and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Neuropsychol Dev Cogn Sect C Child Neuropsychol. 2000;6(3):185-94. PubMed abstract
Study compared the ADHD status of children affected with NF-1 to that of their unaffected-NF-1 siblings and to that of their biological parents suggesting ADHD may occur as a component of NF1.

Viskochil DH.
Neurofibromatosis Type 1.
Management of Genetic Syndromes, 3rd Edition. 2010; 549-568. New York: Wiley-Blackwell;
Excellent review of NF1 by an expert in the field. Book is a great resource for Medical Home providers, with chapters on 25 different genetic conditions.