Neuropsychological sequelae of medulloblastoma in adults.
ABSTRACT To investigate the neuropsychological consequences of medulloblastoma in adults.
Patients 18 years of age or older who had medulloblastoma and at least 3 years of disease-free survival were eligible. A battery of tests was conducted to assess global intellectual functioning, verbal ability, visuospatial ability, memory, reasoning, and academic proficiency. For the verbal memory performance, each patient was matched with two normal controls selected on the basis of age, sex, and level of education.
Review of the Neuro-Oncology database revealed 24 patients eligible for the study. Of these, 10 patients (6 good-risk and 4 poor-risk) agreed to participate; 7 patients were lost to follow-up; 5 lived too far away to come to the testing site, and 2 refused testing. There were four men and six women; their mean age was 36.5 years at testing and 29.9 years at surgical diagnosis. Mean dose of whole brain radiation was 34.5 Gy. Mean interval between diagnosis and testing was 79.1 months. Test results demonstrated below average intelligence quotients (mean intelligence quotient 90.2; range 67-103) and specific deficits in memory, reasoning, visuospatial ability, and arithmetic.
Adults with medulloblastoma in a prolonged disease-free status may suffer significant cognitive deficits. We recommend further controlled, prospective studies to evaluate cognitive outcomes in this patient population in the hope that interventional strategies could be developed, or treatment modified to minimize such toxicities.
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