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Changes in attentional performance of children and young adults with localized primary brain tumors after conformal radiation therapy.


Posted on: 11/28/2006

J Clin Oncol. 2006 Nov 20;24(33):5283-90. Related Articles, Links

 
Changes in attentional performance of children and young adults with localized primary brain tumors after conformal radiation therapy.

Kiehna EN, Mulhern RK, Li C, Xiong X, Merchant TE.

Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of Biostatistics, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105-2794, USA.

PURPOSE: To prospectively assess the impact of conformal radiation therapy (CRT) and demographic and clinical variables on four measures of attention in pediatric and young adult patients with localized primary brain tumors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We prospectively evaluated 120 patients with primary brain tumors, ages 2 to 24.4 years (median, 9.2 years). Evaluations were done using the computerized Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT). We analyzed errors of omission (inattentiveness), errors of commission (impulsivity), reaction time, and an overall index of performance before CRT, weekly during CRT, and serially up to 60 months after the start of CRT. RESULTS: Before CRT, patients exhibited mild inattentiveness. During CRT, impulsivity decreased significantly (P = .002). After CRT, inattentiveness increased significantly (P = .03), and global attention disorders were associated with craniopharyngioma (P < .0001), supratentorial tumors (P = .008), optic pathway and diencephalic tumors (P = .012), and subtotal resection of the tumor (P = .010). CONCLUSION: Brain tumors and their treatment impair sustained attention and reaction time. A decline in impulsivity and relative stability of the other CCPT scores over the course of CRT demonstrated the absence of early radiation-related cognitive sequelae. Local tumor effects, initial surgical intervention, and focal irradiation of central structures contribute to long-lasting attentional problems in pediatric and young adult patients.

Publication Types:
PMID: 17114662 [PubMed - in process]

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