Because of the high prevalence of learning deficiencies, particularly developmental coordination issues, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) was considered a model of neurodevelopmental disorder. Nicolson and Fawcett proposed that a flawed procedural learning system caused neurodevelopmental disorders with roots in cortico-subcortical circuits. For a study, the researchers sought to link between cortico-striatal connection and procedural perceptual-motor learning performance and motor skills in NF1 kids. The research included 17 NF1 and 18 typically developing youngsters aged 8 to 12 years old. All were right-handed and showed no signs of mental or attention problems. A bimanual visuo-spatial serial reaction time task (SRTT) was used to examine procedural perceptual-motor learning in all children. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) was used to test motor abilities. A resting-state functional MRI was performed on all of the subjects. Investigators investigated cortico-striatal connection in somatomotor and frontoparietal networks using a seed-based technique. The cortico-striatal connection of the groups was compared, and the correlations between connectivity and learning SRTT and motor skills M-ABC. SRTT scores in NF1 children were not significantly different from behavioral control. Within 9 individuals, however, M-ABC scores were drastically lowered (scores below the 15th percentile). Compared with controls, NF1 children had more connections in the cortico-striatal areas projecting onto the right angular gyrus on the cerebral level. The lower the M-ABC scores in the entire sample, the stronger the connection values between these regions, differentiating NF1 and controls. The SRTT scores did not show any association. Atypical hyperconnectivity in cortico-striatal connections was determined in NF1 children. The link to motor abilities could have pointed to sensorimotor impairment, observed in children with developmental coordination deficits. The impairments were unrelated to the SRTT-measured procedural perceptual-motor learning.


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