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J Neuropsychol. 2017 Jun;11(2):174-200. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12082. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Executive function in paediatric medulloblastoma: The role of cerebrocerebellar connections.

Author information

1
Program in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
Department of Psychology, Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
Department of Psychology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
5
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
6
Division of Neurosurgery, Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
7
Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
8
Diagnostic Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
9
Genetics and Genome Biology Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
10
Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Executive functions (EFs) are involved in the attainment, maintenance, and integration of information; these functions may play a key role in cognitive and behavioural outcomes in children treated for medulloblastoma (MB). At present, it remains unclear which EFs are most sensitive to the treatment effects for MB and whether damage to cerebrocerebellar circuitry is associated with EF. We completed a comprehensive evaluation of EF in 24 children treated for MB and 20 age-matched healthy children (HC) and distilled these measures into components. Six components (C1-C6) were extracted from our model, reflecting dissociable constructs of EF: C1 = cognitive efficiency; C2 = planning/problem-solving; C3 = positive cognitive emotion regulation; C4 = working memory; C5 = negative cognitive emotion regulation; and C6 = mixed cognitive emotion regulation. Group differences were found for C1, C2, C3, and C4; the MB group showed poorer performance on EF tasks and made less use of positive cognitive emotion regulation strategies relative to HC. Compromise to cerebrocerebellar microstructure - cerebro-ponto-cerebellar and cerebello-thalamo-cerebral pathways - was evident in children treated for MB compared to HC. We found that cerebrocerebellar circuitry has a mediating effect on one component of EF following treatment for MB - working memory.

KEYWORDS:

cerebrocerebellar pathways; diffusion tensor imaging; emotion regulation; executive function; medulloblastoma; white matter

PMID:
26242813
DOI:
10.1111/jnp.12082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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