Injuries to inferior vermis and dentate nuclei predict poor neurological and neuropsychological outcome in children with malignant posterior fossa tumors.
ABSTRACT Children treated for a malignant posterior fossa tumor (PFT) are at risk of intellectual impairment. Its severity is not explained by age and radiotherapy alone. The current study was designed to define the correlations between the anatomical damage and the neurological/neuropsychological deficits in children with a malignant PFT.
Sixty-one consecutive children (mean age, 6.0 years) treated for a malignant PFT with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy underwent a detailed neuropsychological evaluation, including a full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ), on average 5.6 years after the diagnosis. The neurological examination was recorded 1 month after surgery and at the time of the neuropsychological evaluation. Cerebellar and brain injuries were scored based on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Correlation of these injuries with neurological and cognitive outcome were performed after adjustment for other potential risk factors (radiotherapy schedule, age, hydrocephalus, duration of symptoms, socioeconomic status, and surgical complications).
Neurological deficits were strong predictors of low cognitive performances irrespective of the other risk factors. The extent of cerebellar deficits and fine motor dexterity impairment were correlated with the degree of damage to the dentate nuclei and inferior vermis. The IQ scores were inversely correlated with the severity of the damage to the dentate nuclei; mean FSIQ was 83 if they were both intact and 65 in the case of bilateral damage (P=.009).
Damage to the dentate nuclei and to the inferior vermis, observed on MRI, predict the degree of impairment of neurological and neuropsychological functions in children treated for a malignant PFT.
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ABSTRACT: Acquired cerebellar lesions in adults have been shown to produce impairments in higher function as exemplified by the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome. It is not yet known whether similar findings occur in children with acquired cerebellar lesions, and whether developmental factors influence their presentation. In studies to date, survivors of childhood cerebellar tumours who demonstrate long-term deficits in cognitive functions have undergone surgery as well as cranial irradiation or methotrexate treatment. Investigation of the effects of the cerebellar lesion independent of the known deleterious effects of these agents is important for understanding the role of the cerebellum in cognitive and affective development and for informing treatment and rehabilitation strategies. If the cerebellar contribution to cognition and affect is significant, then damage in childhood may influence a wide range of psychological processes, both as an immediate consequence and as these processes fail to develop normally later on. In this study we evaluated neuropsychological data in 19 children who underwent resection of cerebellar tumours but who received neither cranial irradiation nor methotrexate chemotherapy. Impairments were noted in executive function, including planning and sequencing, and in visual-spatial function, expressive language, verbal memory and modulation of affect. These deficits were common and in some cases could be dissociated from motor deficits. Lesions of the vermis in particular were associated with dysregulation of affect. Behavioural deficits were more apparent in older than younger children. These results reveal that clinically relevant neuropsychological changes may occur following cerebellar tumour resection in children. Age at the time of surgery and the site of the cerebellar lesion influence the neurobehavioural outcome. The results of the present study indicate that the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome is evident in children as well as in adults, and they provide further clinical evidence that the cerebellum is an essential node in the distributed neural circuitry subserving higher-order behaviours.Brain 06/2000; 123 ( Pt 5):1041-50. · 9.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We present data on the intellectual, language and executive functions of 26 children who had undergone surgery for the removal of cerebellar hemisphere or vermal tumours. The children with right cerebellar tumours presented with disturbances of auditory sequential memory and language processing, whereas those with left cerebellar tumours showed deficits on tests of spatial and visual sequential memory. The vermal lesions led to two profiles: (i) post-surgical mutism, which evolved into speech disorders or language disturbances similar to agrammatism; and (ii) behavioural disturbances ranging from irritability to behaviours reminiscent of autism. These data are consistent with the recently acknowledged role of the cerebellum as a modulator of mental and social functions, and suggest that this role is operative early in childhood.Brain 06/2000; 123 ( Pt 5):1051-61. · 9.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite success in treating children with medulloblastoma/posterior fossa primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PF PNET), some children survive with significant neurocognitive sequelae. This study was performed to understand better the significance of perioperative factors on subsequent full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) deterioration in these children. Twenty-eight children who underwent prospective and serial neurocognitive testing were studied. All children underwent surgery followed by radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy between 1983 and 1987 for medulloblastoma/PF PNET and were disease free when this study was conducted. IQ testing was performed before surgery and after the completion of radiation therapy. The clinical courses of the patients were correlated with changes in the corresponding intelligence quotients of each child. Factors correlating with neurocognitive declines were examined by chi-square or Fisher exact test analysis. Differences in mean IQs were examined by the t test. Factors found to be significant were analyzed by exact logistic regression analysis. The presence of adverse factors such as neurologic deficits, meningitis, or shunt infections, or the need for repeat surgery was correlated significantly with IQ deficits after treatment. Of the subset of children with one or more of these factors, 13 of 16 (81%) sustained decreases in FSIQ; 7 of 16 (43.8%) had decreases of 20 points of more. In contrast, only 3 of 12 (25%) of the children without the factors sustained FSIQ decreases, and no child sustained a decrease of more than 13 points. The mean FSIQ change after treatment in the group with factors was -15.7 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -24.0, -8.4), and the median was -18. The mean FSIQ change in the group without factors was 4.8 (95% CI: -0.5, 10.1), and the median was 5. The difference in mean FSIQ change between the two groups was significant (P < 0.0001). On univariate analysis, both the presence of adverse factors and an age less than six years correlated with neurocognitive deficit. On regression analysis, only the presence of adverse factors was significant (odds ratio 11.53; 95% CI, 1.65-116.58; P = 0.009), whereas age was not (P = 0.27). Perioperative events or complications may account for some of the neurocognitive deterioration seen in these children after treatment, especially in the very young. The occurrence of these factors is associated with a significantly greater risk of IQ deterioration. Studies of the neurocognitive effects of treatment for children with medulloblastoma/PF PNET should include an analysis of these postoperative factors.Cancer 09/1994; 74(3):965-71. · 5.20 Impact Factor