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Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2010;106:271-4. doi: 10.1007/978-3-211-98811-4_51.

Posterior fossa brain tissue injury: developmental, neuropsychological, and neurological consequences of brain tumors in children.

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Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Katowice, Poland.


The aim of the study was the functional neurodevelopmental assessment of children with posterior fossa tumors, specifically examining whether tumor location in particular cerebellar structures determines particular neuropsychological deficits. The examined group consisted of 34 children treated between 1999 and 2007 at the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery Silesian University Medical School in Katowice, Poland. Twelve girls and 22 boys between 5 and 21 years of age were examined. The mean age was 12.3 years. There were 21 total and 8 subtotal resections of tumor, and marsupialization was performed in cases of arachnoid cysts. Hydrocephalus in 19 patients was fixed surgically. Histopathological diagnoses of tumors were as follows: 4 medulloblastomas, 8 pilocytic astrocytomas, 6 fibrillary astrocytomas, 1 anaplastic astrocytoma, 2 oligodendrogliomas, 4 anaplastic ependymomas, 1 choroid plexus papilloma, and 5 arachnoid cysts. The children were assessed by age-appropriate tests that examine higher mental functions such as cognitive processes, visual-spatial functions, verbal fluency, planning, sequential memory, and emotions. Additionally, speech examination and tests were performed. The clinical state of all patients was also evaluated, including a full neurological examination. Posterior fossa tumors can disturb normal development of higher mental functions, especially in the development of linguistic and emotional traits. Our study aimed to better understand the functional anatomy of the cerebellum in the context of behavioral changes. Exploration of the consequences of damage to posterior fossa structures may lead to a better understanding of their function in the emotional and cognitive development of children. Moreover, this work may enable the prediction of neurobehavioral disorders and offer appropriate strategies for rehabilitation, qualification, and surgical procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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