Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Prospective Study of Neurocognitive Effects in Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients

Study Description

Pediatric brain tumor patients are at increased risk for deficits in neurocognitive functioning as well as social and emotional health problems. This study prospectively examines the neurocognitive abilities of recently diagnosed pediatric brain tumor patients in relation to their socio-emotional functioning and adjustment. New patients (ages 1 month to 20 years-old) are identified by Dr. Matthew Pearson (pediatric neurosurgeon) or a member of the pediatric neuro-oncology team at the time of the child’s diagnosis for a brain tumor. Patients enrolled in the study complete five neurocognitive assessments administered at the following timepoints: 1) prior to surgery, 2) 6-8 weeks post-surgery/pre-adjuvant treatment, 3) 6-months post-diagnosis, 4) 12-months post-diagnosis, and 5) 24-months post-diagnosis. At each assessment, parents also provide questionnaire report measures about the family, their own adjustment, and the child’s neurocognitive functioning and psychosocial and emotional adjustment. Our goal is to describe the course of neurocognitive functioning in children with brain tumors from prior to surgery, throughout treatment, and during follow-up and to identify risk and protective factors within this population. Our long-term goal is to use these data to inform the development of interventions that will minimize neurocognitive deficits and psychosocial problems in pediatric brain tumor patients.

Funding:

This study is supported by gifts from the Justin and Valere Potter Foundation and Patricia and Rodes Hart.

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Publications

  • Robinson, K.E., Kuttesch, J.F., Champion, J.E., Andreotti, C.F., Hipp, D.W., Bettis, A., Barnwell, A., & Compas, B.E. (2010). A quantitative meta-analysis of neurocognitive sequelae in survivors of pediatric brain tumors. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 55, 525-531.