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Processing speed in children treated for brain tumors: effects of radiation therapy and age.

Authors
  • Jacobson, Lisa A1, 2
  • Mahone, E Mark1, 2
  • Yeates, Keith O3
  • Ris, M Douglas4, 5
  • 1 a Department of Neuropsychology , Kennedy Krieger Institute , Baltimore , MD , USA.
  • 2 b Department of Neuropsychology , Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine , Baltimore , MD , USA.
  • 3 c Department of Psychology, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, and Hotchkiss Brain Institute , University of Calgary , Calgary , Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 d Department of Pediatrics, Section of Psychology , Texas Children's Hospital , Houston , TX , USA.
  • 5 e Department of Pediatrics, Section of Psychology , Baylor College of Medicine , Houston , TX , USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Child Neuropsychology
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2019
Volume
25
Issue
2
Pages
217–231
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/09297049.2018.1456517
PMID: 29621934
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The current study examined processing speed in children two years post-treatment for brain tumors (BT) with radiation therapy (RT) compared to those treated with without RT. Participants included 59 children (4-17 years) with BT assessed as part of the Brain Radiation Investigative Study Consortium (BRISC). Processing speed was assessed at two time points: Time1 (3-9 months post-surgery) for 26 children who received whole brain or focal RT (RT group) and 33 treated without RT (no-RT group), and again two years later (Time2) for 42 participants (17 RT, 25 no-RT). Linear mixed effects (LME) regression analyses examined differences in cognitive and motor speed between groups and across visits, with age at Time1 (age1) treated as a moderating variable, and sex and primary tumor size as covariates. No effects for treatment group or visit were found for motor speed (Pegboard) or mean reaction time (Attention Network Task). On the Wechsler Processing Speed Index (PSI), the no-RT group performed better than the RT group, with a group-by-age interaction such that across visits, the difference between the no-RT and RT groups was larger among children who were older at initial treatment (≥10 years) than among those who were younger (<10 years). Cumulative brain injury earlier in life (tumor, surgery, plus RT) may result in greater impact on more complex tasks of cognitive efficiency. Children receiving RT showed reduced processing speed over time, with a larger group difference among those who were over 10 years at treatment.

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