Neurofibromatosis type 1 and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a case study and literature review
Received 27 September 2014
Accepted for publication 8 December 2014
Published 25 March 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 815—821
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 4
Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder
Carmen Sílvia Miguel, Tiffany M Chaim-Avancini, Maria Aparecida Silva, Mario Rodrigues Louzã
Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Program (PRODATH), Institute of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Background: The cognitive profile of children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been well characterized, but few studies have evaluated the cognitive abilities of adults with NF1 and ADHD.
Objectives: We investigated 1) the cognitive profile of an adult patient with NF1 and inattention problems, 2) changes in his cognition after 14 months of follow-up, and 3) whether the patient exhibited comorbid NF1 and ADHD or secondary ADHD-like symptoms.
Methods: We administered neuropsychological tests of executive function, attention, verbal and visual memory, visuospatial function, and language during two evaluations separated by 14 months.
Results: We found no changes in sustained attention, language, or verbal memory. Visual memory, verbal learning, selective attention inhibitory control, and problem solving declined over time, whereas visual search, psychomotor speed, visuospatial function, and mental flexibility improved.
Conclusion: Our patient exhibited a cognitive profile characteristic of both NF1 and ADHD, leading to the hypothesis that the patient had comorbid ADHD instead of secondary ADHD-like symptoms. More studies are necessary to characterize the cognition of patients with NF1 and ADHD.
Keywords: ADHD, executive function, NF1, low-grade pontine glioma, cognition
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