Research study seeking subjects ages 8–20 with neurofibromatosis

The Education and Brain Sciences Research Laboratory is seeking children 8 to 20 years old with reading disabilities with neurofibromatosis type 1.


This research study seeks to learn more about how children and adolescents who struggle with reading can learn to become good readers. We are very interested in the best ways to teach people to read.

What’s involved in the study:

  • Phone screening to make sure this is the right study for you (30-45 minutes).
  • Visits 1 and 3 will be over two days, approximately 3-4 hours each day.
  • Visit 2 occurs 12 weeks later. It involves 12-15 hours of intensive reading intervention over 3-5 consecutive days at Vanderbilt.
  • Visit 3 occurs 12 weeks later, will be over two days, approximately 3-4 hours each day.
  • 4 MRI scans of the brain (each 1 to 1.5 hours): one at the first visit, two at the second visit, and one at the third visit.

Children will be randomly assigned to one of two different groups for NF patients.

  1. Reading tutoring program and a medication called Lovastatin
  2. Reading tutoring program and no Lovastatin (placebo)

Lovastatin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of reading trouble due to neurofibromatosis type 1.

The study will last approximately 26 weeks.

We will provide the following:

  • Academic skills testing with summary is provided at no cost, if first day of testing is completed.
  • A check for $150 for the first visit, $750 for the second visit, and $150 for the last visit will be mailed to your home after each part of the study is completed.

This study is conducted by the Education and Brain Sciences Research Laboratory of the Vanderbilt Special Education Department in Nashville, TN.

The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Health.

Contact Information

Education and Brain Sciences Research Lab

Principal investigator: Laurie E. Cutting, Ph.D.

Other researchers: Sheryl Rimrodt, M.D.