Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Tumors In Childhood Leave A Lasting Mark On Cognition, Life Status

Date:
November 2, 2009
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
Brain tumors in childhood cast a long shadow on survivors. The first study of the lasting impact of these tumors -- the most common solid malignancies in childhood -- shows that survivors have ongoing cognitive problems. They also have lower levels of education, employment and income than their siblings and survivors of other types of cancer, according to a new article.

Brain tumors in childhood cast a long shadow on survivors. The first study of the lasting impact of these tumors -- the most common solid malignancies in childhood -- shows that survivors have ongoing cognitive problems. They also have lower levels of education, employment and income than their siblings and survivors of other types of cancer, according to a report published by the American Psychological Association.

Given the risks now seen to confront survivors of brain (also called central nervous system, or CNS) cancer, programs to support their transition to independent adult life are essential, according to the study in the November issue of Neuropsychology.

The findings, part of a massive Childhood Cancer Survivor Study conducted by nine major medical centers, were based on a study coordinated by Leah Ellenberg, PhD, a clinical faculty member of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers sent a 25-item neurocognitive questionnaire to cancer survivors at least 16 years after a cancer diagnosis. Some 785 CNS cancer survivors; 5,870 survivors of non-CNS cancers such as leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and bone tumors; and 379 siblings of CNS cancer survivors returned enough information to analyze. In a significant minority of cases, someone else responded for CNS cancer survivors, an informal sign of the difficulties some may be having, according to the authors.

The study's four main hypotheses were all supported:

  • CNS cancer survivors reported significantly greater neurocognitive dysfunction than their siblings and than survivors of other types of cancer.
  • Although the greatest reported problems were in memory and task efficiency (highly rating such items as 'I forget what I am doing in the middle of things' and 'I am slower than others when completing my work'), all aspects of cognition surveyed were affected, including emotional regulation and organization. More than half the CNS cancer survivors reported significant problems with at least one task efficiency item, more than three times as many as among the sibling group.
  • The greatest neurocognitive problems were reported by CNS cancer survivors who had significant motor or sensory problems after treatment, who were treated with radiation to their brains, and who had tumors in the brain cortex rather than lower brain regions.
  • Those neurocognitive problems were linked to significantly poorer adaptation to adult life, as shown by lower achievement in education and in full-time employment and income, as well as less chance of being married.

Also, medical complications such as stroke, paralysis, hearing impairment, and fluid buildup that required a shunt were more likely to cause problems across all cognitive functions. Brain irradiation in particular affected task efficiency and memory -- though just how much depended on the amount of radiation. And even low-risk brain tumor patients who had surgery but no radiation were impaired compared to other cancer survivors as a group.

"This [report] underscores the need for continued attention to mitigating the long-term negative effects of CNS malignancies and their treatment," wrote the authors. They voiced particular concern about radiation because it affects the brain's white matter, especially in childhood, slowing cell-to-cell communication and causing sensory, motor or neurocognitive problems.

The authors continued, "It will be important to investigate the benefits of early and consistent use of compensatory strategies, including assistive technology, transitional facilities to promote independent living, and job placement and coaching, to enhance functional outcomes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leah Ellenberg et al. Neurocognitive Status in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood CNS Malignancies: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Neuropsychology, Vol. 23, No. 6 DOI: 10.1037/a0016674

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Brain Tumors In Childhood Leave A Lasting Mark On Cognition, Life Status." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102085817.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2009, November 2). Brain Tumors In Childhood Leave A Lasting Mark On Cognition, Life Status. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102085817.htm
American Psychological Association. "Brain Tumors In Childhood Leave A Lasting Mark On Cognition, Life Status." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102085817.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins