Focus on learning a movement task in adults with NF1


Erasmus MC's ENCORE NF1 expertise center has a long history of research into the cognitive problems associated with NF1. Learning disabilities, executive function problems, attention problems, and motor problems are known to be common in patients with NF1. Most research on NF1 involves children and/or adolescents, but less is known about cognitive problems in adults. We tested adults with NF1 for attention and for learning a new movement task in an experimental setting. These results are published in the journal Journal of Attention Disorders. We observed no difference between adults with and without NF1 in the performance of the alertness, sustained attention, and motor skill learning tasks. Except that adults with NF1 were slightly slower in their movements during the movement task. So it is possible that adults have learned to compensate for the changes in their brains caused by the NF1 mutation. However, it must be emphasized that these tests were performed in an experimental environment, which means that we cannot make any statements about functioning in daily life or about the effect on fatigue. If adults with NF1 have to exert themselves more than adults without NF1 to achieve the same, it can lead to more fatigue. Fatigue is a common complaint in adults with NF1.