Poster Abstracts


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal disorder caused by mutations in the NF1 suppressor gene and is associated with high rates of cognitive, academic, and social difficulties, including attention problems. Recent literature notes significant rates of sleep difficulties in children with NF1 and a recent animal model suggests a possible link between NF1 gene mutation and circadian rhythm abnormalities. This retrospective study examined the association between sleep problems and attention functions in a referred sample of pediatric patients with NF1 (N=134; X̅ age 10.8 years). Patients had completed the Conners Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II) and had parent ratings from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). A validated sleep factor from the CBCL characterized sleep issues, and regression analysis indicated a significant relationship between CBCL sleep factor and CPT-II Omission errors [R2 =0.03, p<.05] with a trend toward significance found for CPT-II Hit Reaction Time [R2=0.03, p=.051]. Significant relationships were also observed between the CBCL sleep factor and CBCL Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Problems [R2=.15, p<.001] and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo [R2=.15, p<.001] scales. Overall, results suggest that a higher level of sleep disturbance is associated with poorer attention in children with NF1 both by direct measurement and parent observation.

First AuthorIneke M. Olsthoorn
Second AuthorMarsha N. Gragert
Third AuthorGrace Yang
Fourth AuthorPeter L. Stavinoha