Ingrid Tonning Olsson

Ingrid Tonning Olsson

Timlärare, Ph.D., Psychologist, Specialist in Neuropsychology

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I started my career in year 2000 as a clinical neuropsychologist at Skåne University hospital, department of neuropaediatrics, where I still work. Since 2003 I have combined research and clinical work. During the years 2016-2019 I held a research position as a post-doctoral fellow at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, USA. My primary research interest centers on neurocognitive outcomes in survivors of childhood cancer; examining treatment exposures and demographic factors as well as potentially modifiable health conditions/behaviors associated with cognitive impairment. In our research we have been able to show that a longitudinal, systematic neuropsychological follow-up is essential after pediatric brain tumor, both in terms of finding individuals with rehabilitation need and in terms of evaluating the cancer treatment given with respect to cognitive sequelae. We have further shown that risk factors for cognitive impairment and IQ decline are whole brain radiation therapy, large tumors, young age at diagnosis, male sex, supratentorial lateral tumor, and treatment with chemotherapy. As a post-doctoral fellow at St. Jude, I examined neurocognitive outcomes in survivors of Wilms tumor and soft tissue sarcoma. These are the first comprehensive reports of adverse neurocognitive outcomes in these groups of survivors. In separate studies, I examined the contribution of insomnia and pain to neurocognitive functioning in survivors of childhood cancer. I found both pain and insomnia to be associated with worse neurocognitive performance, even after adjustment for known treatment and demographic risk factors. Through this work I identified two potentially modifiable targets for intervention to improve cognitive outcomes in survivors.

 

In the future I hope to further explore risk factors for cognitive sequelae after pediatric brain tumor, especially gender differences and in social ability. I also work towards a Swedish and Nordic common neuropsychological protocol for survivors of childhood cancer and a common database which would be of benefit to researchers within pediatric oncology, whether evaluating cancer treatment protocols or chronic conditions among survivors.

 

 

 

UKÄ subject classification

  • Pediatrics

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