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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 1/2014

Abnormal late visual responses and alpha oscillations in neurofibromatosis type 1: a link to visual and attention deficits

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Maria J Ribeiro, Otília C d’Almeida, Fabiana Ramos, Jorge Saraiva, Eduardo D Silva, Miguel Castelo-Branco
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1866-1955-6-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MJR, OCA, EDS and MCB conceptualized and designed the study. MJR and OCA carried out the EEG acquisition sessions. MJR analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. MJR, OCA, EDS and MCB contributed to the interpretation of the data and manuscript writing. FR and JS contributed with patient recruitment and patient characterization. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) affects several areas of cognitive function including visual processing and attention. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the visual deficits of children and adolescents with NF1 by studying visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and brain oscillations during visual stimulation and rest periods.

Methods

Electroencephalogram/event-related potential (EEG/ERP) responses were measured during visual processing (NF1 n = 17; controls n = 19) and idle periods with eyes closed and eyes open (NF1 n = 12; controls n = 14). Visual stimulation was chosen to bias activation of the three detection mechanisms: achromatic, red-green and blue-yellow.

Results

We found significant differences between the groups for late chromatic VEPs and a specific enhancement in the amplitude of the parieto-occipital alpha amplitude both during visual stimulation and idle periods. Alpha modulation and the negative influence of alpha oscillations in visual performance were found in both groups.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest abnormal later stages of visual processing and enhanced amplitude of alpha oscillations supporting the existence of deficits in basic sensory processing in NF1. Given the link between alpha oscillations, visual perception and attention, these results indicate a neural mechanism that might underlie the visual sensitivity deficits and increased lapses of attention observed in individuals with NF1.
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