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Selective impairment of the executive attentional network in adult patients with neurofibromatosis type 1

Wang, Xingchaoa,,b,,*; Wu, Qiongc,,*; Tang, Hanlua; Zhao, Fud; Yang, Zhijuna; Wang, Boa; Li, Penga; Wang, Zhenmina; Wu, Yanhonge,,f; Fan, Jing,,h,,i,,j; Liu, Pinana,,b

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000001275
Clinical Neuroscience
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Cognitive dysfunction accompanied by neurofibromatosis type 1 is one of the significant characteristics of this neurocutaneous disorder and has a serious impact on patients’ quality of life. Although studies on cognitive function in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 have revealed that attentional impairment is a key deficit in these patients, few studies have examined their neuropsychological profile, especially whether the attentional function is also abnormal and specific in adult patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. In this study, we used the revised attention network test to examine the function of three attentional networks–alerting, orienting and executive control–in 20 adult patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 in comparison to 20 normal controls. Adult patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 showed significant greater conflict effect for the executive control network, but no significant differences were found for alerting and orienting network relative to normal controls. These results provide evidence that there is an attentional deficit which is specifically associated with the executive control network in adult patients with neurofibromatosis type 1.

aDepartment of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University

bChina National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases

cBeijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition, School of Psychology, Capital Normal University

dDepartment of Neural reconstruction, Beijing Neurosurgery Institute, Capital Medical University

eSchool of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University

fBeijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, China

gDepartment of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

hNash Family Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

iFriedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

jDepartment of Psychology, Queens College, The City University of New York, New York, USA

* Dr. Xingchao Wang and Dr. Qiong Wu contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Received 24 April 2019 Accepted 14 May 2019

Correspondence to Pinan Liu, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China, Tel: +15101053127; fax: +86 010 59978431; e-mail: pinanliu@ccmu.edu.cn

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