[PUBLICATION] Reading Comprehension Impairment in Children With Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1): The Need of Multimodal Assessment of Attention

  • Recherche,
  • Santé-Sciences-Technologie,
Neurofibromatosis Type 1
Neurofibromatosis Type 1

le 2 avril 2021

Published in J Child Neurol

Collaborative research project led by Prof. Y. Chaix (ToNIC, Toulouse NeuroImaging Center, University of Toulouse, Inserm, UPS, France; Children’s Hospital, Toulouse-Purpan, France) in which Dr. Castelnau participated


Attention span, which has been shown to have an impact on reading quality in many other conditions, is one of the main cognitive disorders of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The aim of this work is to observe the impact of attention on reading comprehension, in NF1 and non-NF1 children. A multicenter, cross-sectional study was conducted on 150 children (8-12 years old) with or without NF1 (75 NF1 vs 75 non-NF1; 72 female, 78 male), matched for age, sex, handedness, and reading level, thus forming a continuum from good to poor readers in both NF1 and non-NF1 groups. Children with intellectual deficiency or neurologic or psychiatric disorder were excluded. Attentional skills were assessed by combining a parent questionnaire (Child Behavior CheckList) and a performance-based assessment (Conner's Continuous Performance Test-Second Edition). Reading comprehension was assessed through a standardized reading comprehension test (ORLEC Lobrot). The performance-based attention scores were associated with text and sentence comprehension ability (P = .0235 and P = .0164, respectively), while indirect questionnaire attention scores were only associated with sentence comprehension (P = .0263). For both groups, the correlations between questionnaire and performance-based measures were low. We have shown that reading comprehension is greatly influenced by attention in NF1 and non-NF1, even if predictors of good reading comprehension also include IQ score and reading accuracy. Indirect observer-rated questionnaires and direct performance-based measures of attention do not assess the same variables, are linked to different components of reading skills, and are not interchangeable assessments of attention difficulties. Both assessments are complementary and must be used simultaneously, leading to recommendations that support multimodal assessment of attention.


ADHD; NF1; assessment; attention processes; child; dyslexia; reading processes; tests.

Contact :
Dr. Pierre Castelnau :