Neuropsychological consequences of childhood medulloblastoma and possible interventions: A review

Background
Children who have been treated for a medulloblastoma often suffer long-term cognitive impairments that often negatively affect their academic performance and quality of life. In this article, we will review the neuropsychological consequences of childhood medulloblastoma and discuss the risk factors known to influence the presence and severity of these cognitive impairments and possible interventions to improve their quality of life.

Methods
This narrative review was based on electronic searches of PubMed to identify all relevant studies.

Results
Although many types of cognitive impairments often emerge during a child’s subsequent development, the core cognitive domains that are most often affected in children treated for a medulloblastoma are processing speed, attention and working memory. The emergence and magnitude of these deficits varies greatly among patients. They are influenced by demographic (age at diagnosis, parental education), medical and treatment-related factors (perioperative complications, including posterior fossa syndrome, radiation therapy dose, etc.), and the quality of interventions such as school adaptations provided to the child or rehabilitation programs that focus on cognitive skills, behavior and psychosocial functioning.

Conclusion
These patients require specialized and coordinated multidisciplinary rehabilitation follow-up that provides timely and adapted assessments and culminates in personalized intervention goals being set with the patient and the family. Follow-up should be continued until referral to adult services.

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