News Story

New Analysis Provides Additional Support for Washington University NF Center Findings about Gender and Optic Pathway Glioma

sex neuronKelly Diggs-Andrews, PhD, and her colleagues recently reported that females with NF1 and an optic pathway glioma are at higher risk for vision loss than are males. The study by Dr. Diggs-Andrews, a former post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD at the Washington University NF Center, was published earlier this year in the Annals of Neurology.
Michael J. Fisher, MD, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, took specific interest in these findings, and decided to re-analyze data that he previously reported on children with NF1 and optic pathway gliomas. In agreement with Dr. Diggs-Andrew’s study, he likewise found that females with NF1 and an optic nerve glioma were more likely to have vision loss than boys.
These findings led Dr. Gutmann and his team to take a second look at their published data. When limited to children with optic nerve tumors only, females were nine times more likely to develop vision loss and require treatment than their male counterparts.
These findings underscore the need to further study gender as a risk factor in NF1.