Low Neuro-Psych Functioning for Long-Term Glioma Survivors

Childhood high-grade glioma survivors have low-average intellectual function, normal quality of life

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term survivors of childhood high-grade glioma have intellectual functioning within low-average ranges and low neuropsychological functioning, but the majority of patients report within or above normal quality of life, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Stephen Alan Sands, Psy.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues reviewed neuropsychological, behavioral, and quality-of-life outcomes after treatment for high-grade gliomas in 54 patients from the Children's Cancer Group trial. Survivors were evaluated at a median follow-up of 15.1 years, with a median age at evaluation of 23.6 years.

The researchers found that survivors showed intellectual functioning within the low-average range, and had executive functioning and verbal memory that fell between the low-average and borderline ranges. Visual memory and psychomotor processing speed fell between the borderline and impaired ranges, respectively. The overall quality of life for both physical and psychosocial domains was reported to be within or above normal limits for approximately 75 percent of patients. Independent risk factors were nonhemispheric tumor location, female gender, and younger age at treatment.

"These results serve as a benchmark for comparison with future pediatric high-grade glioma studies, in addition to identifying at-risk cohorts that warrant further research and proactive interventions to minimize late effects while striving to ensure survival," the authors write.

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