Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors (PBTs) treated with cranial radiation therapy (CRT) often experience a decline in neurocognitive test scores. Less is known about the neurocognitive development of non-irradiated survivors of PBTs. The aim of this study was to statistically model neurocognitive development after PBT in both irradiated and non-irradiated survivors and to find clinical variables associated with the rate of decline in neurocognitive scores. A total of 151 survivors were included in the study. Inclusion criteria: Diagnosis of PBT between 2001 and 2013 or earlier diagnosis of PBT and turning 18 years of age between 2006 and 2013. Exclusion criteria: Death within a year from diagnosis, neurocutaneous syndromes, severe intellectual disability. Clinical neurocognitive data were collected retrospectively from medical records. Multilevel linear modeling was used to evaluate the rate of decline in neurocognitive measures and factors associated with the same. A decline was found in most measures for both irradiated and non-irradiated survivors. Ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunting and treatment with whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) were associated with a faster decline in neurocognitive scores. Male sex and supratentorial lateral tumor were associated with lower scores. Verbal learning measures were either stable or improving. Survivors of PBTs show a pattern of decline in neurocognitive scores irrespective of treatment received, which suggests the need for routine screening for neurocognitive rehabilitation. However, survivors treated with WBRT and/or a VP shunt declined at a faster rate and appear to be at the highest risk of negative neurocognitive outcomes and to have the greatest need for neurocognitive rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-44
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology

Free keywords

  • late complications
  • longitudinal
  • neurocognition
  • Pediatric brain tumor
  • survivorship


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