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Concentration, working speed and memory: cognitive problems in young childhood cancer survivors and their siblings


Wengenroth, L; Rueegg, C S; Michel, G; Gianinazzi, M E; Essig, S; von der Weid, N X; Grotzer, M; Kuehni, Claudia E (2015). Concentration, working speed and memory: cognitive problems in young childhood cancer survivors and their siblings. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 62(5):875-882.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Cognitive problems can have a negative effect on a person's education, but little is known about cognitive problems in young childhood cancer survivors (survivors). This study compared cognitive problems between survivors and their siblings, determined if cognitive problems decreased during recent treatment periods and identified characteristics associated with the presence of a cognitive problem in survivors. METHODS As part of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a questionnaire was sent to all survivors, aged 8-20 years, registered in the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, diagnosed at age <16 years, who had survived ≥ 5 years. Parent-reported (aged 8-15 years) and self-reported (aged 16-20 years) cognitive problems (concentration, working speed, memory) were compared between survivors and siblings. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify characteristics associated with cognitive problems in survivors. RESULTS Data from 840 survivors and 247 siblings were analyzed. More often than their siblings, survivors reported problems with concentration (12% vs. 6%; P = 0.020), slow working speed (20% vs. 8%; P = 0.001) or memory (33% vs. 15%; P < 0.001). Survivors from all treatment periods were more likely to report a cognitive problem than were siblings. Survivors of CNS tumors (OR = 2.82 compared to leukemia survivors, P < 0.001) and those who had received cranial irradiation (OR = 2.10, P = 0.010) were most severely affected. CONCLUSION Childhood cancer survivors, even those treated recently (2001-2005), remain at risk to develop cognitive problems, suggesting a need to improve therapies. Survivors with cognitive problems should be given the opportunity to enter special education programs.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Cognitive problems can have a negative effect on a person's education, but little is known about cognitive problems in young childhood cancer survivors (survivors). This study compared cognitive problems between survivors and their siblings, determined if cognitive problems decreased during recent treatment periods and identified characteristics associated with the presence of a cognitive problem in survivors. METHODS As part of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a questionnaire was sent to all survivors, aged 8-20 years, registered in the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, diagnosed at age <16 years, who had survived ≥ 5 years. Parent-reported (aged 8-15 years) and self-reported (aged 16-20 years) cognitive problems (concentration, working speed, memory) were compared between survivors and siblings. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify characteristics associated with cognitive problems in survivors. RESULTS Data from 840 survivors and 247 siblings were analyzed. More often than their siblings, survivors reported problems with concentration (12% vs. 6%; P = 0.020), slow working speed (20% vs. 8%; P = 0.001) or memory (33% vs. 15%; P < 0.001). Survivors from all treatment periods were more likely to report a cognitive problem than were siblings. Survivors of CNS tumors (OR = 2.82 compared to leukemia survivors, P < 0.001) and those who had received cranial irradiation (OR = 2.10, P = 0.010) were most severely affected. CONCLUSION Childhood cancer survivors, even those treated recently (2001-2005), remain at risk to develop cognitive problems, suggesting a need to improve therapies. Survivors with cognitive problems should be given the opportunity to enter special education programs.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:May 2015
Deposited On:27 Nov 2015 07:47
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 15:03
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1545-5009
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.25396
PubMed ID:25645276

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