Executive dysfunction 25 years after treatment with cranial radiotherapy for pediatric lymphoid malignancies

Ilse Schuitema, Leo De Sonneville, Gertjan Kaspers, Helena Van Der Pal, Anne Uyttebroeck, Cor Van Den Bos, Anjo Veerman

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

14 Citaten (Scopus)


The first cohorts to survive childhood lymphoid malignancies treated with cranial irradiation are now aging into adulthood, and concerns are growing about the development of radiotherapy-induced cognitive deficits in the aging brain. These deficits are hypothesized to increase over time. Their impact on daily functioning of older survivors, and the accompanying need for interventions, should be anticipated. By describing a detailed profile of executive function deficits and their associations with age, specific targets for neuropsychological intervention can be identified. Fifty survivors of childhood lymphoid malignancies and 58 related controls were assessed with the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks program. The survivors were on average 31.1 (4.9) years old, treated with 22.5 (6.8) Gy cranial irradiation, and examined on average 25.5 (3.1) years after diagnosis. The survivors showed significantly decreased response speed, irrespective of the task at hand. Furthermore, we found deficits in working memory capacity, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, executive visuomotor control, attentional fluctuations, and sustained attention. Older age was associated with poorer performance on executive visuomotor control and inhibition. On executive visuomotor control, 50% of female survivors performed more than 1.5 SD below average, versus 15.4% of male survivors. The combination of visuospatial working memory problems and decreasing executive visuomotor control could result in difficulty with learning new motor skills at older ages, like walking with a cane. Deterioration of executive control and inhibition may result in decreased behavioral and emotional regulation in aging survivors. Especially the deficiency in executive visuomotor control in female survivors should be considered for (prophylactic) intervention.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)657-669
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Nummer van het tijdschrift9
StatusGepubliceerd - 22 sep. 2015
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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