Neurobiology and Treatment of Reading Disability in NF-1

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Laurie Cutting, Vanderbilt University Identifier:
First received: February 25, 2008
Last updated: December 19, 2013
Last verified: December 2013

February 25, 2008
December 19, 2013
February 2006
March 2013   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Improvement in basic reading skills as assessed by standard educational assessments (e.g., Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - 3rd Edition; WJ-III) [ Time Frame: 0, 5, 10, and 15 hours ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00624234 on Archive Site
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Neurobiology and Treatment of Reading Disability in NF-1
Neurobiology and Treatment of Reading Disability in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF-1)

The goal of this trial is to determine if children with neurofibromatosis type 1 who have reading disabilities respond the same way—both behaviorally and neurobiologically—to specialized treatment programs as children with idiopathic reading disabilities do, and to determine which intervention is best for particular learner profiles.

The most common concern of parents of children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) is learning disabilities (LD). Approximately one half of all children with NF-1 have LD—the most debilitating and common of which are reading disabilities.

The purpose of this study is to determine if children with NF-1 who have reading disabilities respond the same way—both behaviorally and neurobiologically—to specialized treatment programs known to improve the decoding deficits in children with idiopathic reading disabilities. The trial will also determine which intervention is best for particular learner profiles. The overall purpose of this research is to gain a deeper understanding of the characteristics and treatment of reading disabilities in NF-1.

In the trial, researchers will compare children with NF-1 who show weaknesses in reading to children with reading disabilities of no known cause (idiopathic) using two different interventions and behavioral and neurobiological measures. Both interventions focus on teaching sound-symbol relationships, but vary in terms of relative emphasis on verbal versus visual methods of teaching.

Scientists hope findings from the trial will advance knowledge about the best therapies for LD in children with NF-1. And, by further refining how children with NF-1 who have reading disabilities are similar (or different) to children with idiopathic reading disabilities, the researchers may be able to learn if reading interventions that address areas other than decoding will also benefit children with NF-1. Also, by understanding the similarities and/or differences in the neuropsychological and neurobiological profiles of children with NF-1 who have reading disabilities, and those without, scientists will be able to refine the cognitive phenotype and neurobiological characteristics of NF-1, which will further understanding of central nervous system abnormalities in NF-1.

Not Provided
Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Neurofibromatosis Type 1
  • Reading Disabilities
  • Behavioral: Tutoring Program I
    Tutoring Program I is a structured multi-sensory program that is designed to gradually present the range of sounds and letters with focus on accuracy of phonological concepts and application of those concepts in phrases and sentences. The instruction uses a sequenced defined lesson plan with accuracy and automaticity criteria for skill progression. A range of manipulative and kinesthetic activities is outlined to maintain learner engagement in the intensive intervention design.
  • Behavioral: Tutoring Program II
    Tutoring Program II is designed to teach visual and speech elements of reading separately at first, and then bring them together for maximum efficiency. The program uses the idea of teaching concepts about the structure of words. For example, students transfer the rules they have learned about one vowel or structure to another without specific instructions on the new one. Tutoring Program II incorporates pictures and activities to help remember strategies for increasing basic reading skills. Speed drills are also used for development of decoding automaticity.
  • Experimental: 1
    Tutoring Program I
    Intervention: Behavioral: Tutoring Program I
  • Experimental: 2
    Tutoring Program II
    Intervention: Behavioral: Tutoring Program II
  • No Intervention: 3
    Control group
Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Active, not recruiting
December 2014
March 2013   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

This study will be open to all individuals, ages 8 to 17 years, who meet eligibility criteria regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

  • The Reading Disabilities group (including those with NF-1) is defined by scoring equal to or less than the 25th percentile on measures of basic word reading skills.
  • The Control group (including those with NF1) is defined by scoring equal to or above the 40th percentile on the average of the Letter Word Identification and Word Attack subtests from the WJ-III.

Exclusion Criteria:

Any child, regardless of which group he/she is recruited for, will be excluded if he/she meets any of the following criteria (determined during phone screening, medical review, and during testing):

  • is in foster care;
  • previous diagnosis of mental retardation;
  • known uncorrectable visual impairment;
  • history of known neurological disorder (e.g., epilepsy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury);
  • documented hearing impairment greater than 25 dB loss in either ear;
  • medical contraindication to MRI procedures, if participating in MRI (including exposure to metal and pregnancy);
  • individuals known to have an IQ below 70;
  • history or presence of a pervasive developmental disorder;
  • during the DICA-IV parents indicate the presence of any severe psychiatric diagnoses or pervasive developmental disorder.
8 Years to 17 Years
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
R01NS49096, NF1-R01, R01NS049096
Laurie Cutting, Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: Laurie E. Cutting, Ph.D. Vanderbilt University Special Education Department
Principal Investigator: Martha Bridge Denckla, M.D. Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Principal Investigator: Sheryl L. Rimrodt, M.D. Vanderbilt University Pediatrics Department
Principal Investigator: John Gore, Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
December 2013

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP