Early Developmental Trajectories in Infants With Neurofibromatosis 1

Shruti Garg, Ming Wai Wan, Jannath Begum-Ali, Anna Kolesnik-Taylor, Jonathan Green, Mark Henry Johnson, Emily Jane Harrison Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the trajectories of cognitive, motor and behavioural development in infants with NF1 compared to infants without a family history of neurodevelopmental difficulties.

Study design: Infants with NF1 and low-risk controls were recruited from 5 months of age and followed longitudinally. Data from standardised tests was gathered at 5, 10 and 14 months and developmental trajectories of motor, language, behaviour, sleep, social development and parent–infant interaction were examined. Linear mixed modelling was used to estimate group differences in cognitive and behavioural measures over time.

Results: No group differences were observed on Mullen Scale of Early Learning, overall adaptive functioning, temperament or behavioural measures. There were no group differences observed on measures of social communication or parent–infant interaction. Over the course of development, the NF1 group slept less and took more time to settle to sleep as compared to the control group. Maternal education was significantly associated with cognitive and behavioural developmental outcomes in both groups.

Conclusion: Cognitive, social and behavioural impairments are a cause of significant functional morbidity in children with NF1. This report is the first study to investigate the trajectories of cognitive, motor and behavioural development in infancy in NF1. Our results demonstrate that overall cognitive and behavioural developmental trajectories of the NF1 group in the infancy period are similar to controls. Given previous reports of delayed development in the NF1 cohort by 40 months, early clinical interventions strategies to promote sleep hygiene may be beneficial to optimise developmental outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number795951
Pages (from-to)795951
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2022


  • NF1 = neurofibromatosis type 1
  • autism
  • behaviour
  • cognition
  • natural history


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