AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 1, 2018


Childhood Brain Tumors Affect Working Memory

Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors have lower working memory performance compared with healthy adults, according to research published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. The findings specifically showed that adult survivors of pediatric posterior fossa brain tumors performed significantly lower than controls on standardized clinical tests of working memory performance in the study. Whole-brain fMRI analyses also found survivors had significantly greater blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activation in the left superior/middle frontal gyri and left parietal lobe of their brain during a verbal working memory task, demonstrating higher activation in these structures. Further analyses revealed higher levels of activations in prefrontal regions were associated with lower behavioral performance on higher-load working memory tasks. While advances in diagnosis and treatment have led to improved clinical outcomes and increases in the 5-year survival rates of pediatric brain tumor patients, research has shown that long-term childhood brain tumor survivors suffer from adverse health, disrupted quality-of-life and impaired cognitive and social outcomes. To read more about this study, click here.

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