Objective: To determine whether prophylactic CNS chemotherapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with declines in neuropsychological abilities. Methods: Growth curve analysis was used to examine neuropsychological outcome and treatment-related change in children (N = 30) who were treated at two childhood cancer centers. A comprehensive test battery was administered at baseline (8 months), 2, 3, and 4 years postdiagnosis (age at diagnosis M = 5.90 years, SD = 4.20). Results: Results indicated modest declines in arithmetic, visual motor integration, and verbal fluency. Intrathecal and systemic treatment was related to poorer visual motor integration at 4 years postdiagnosis and a faster rate of decline in visual motor integration skills across the observation period than intrathecal treatment alone. Arithmetic proficiency at 4 years after diagnosis was related to maternal education, but the rate of decline was not. Verbal fluency was unrelated to demographic or treatment variables. Conclusions: These findings suggest that neuropsychological outcome and declines are related to both demographic and treatment characteristics depending on the cognitive domain examined.
- CNS late effects
- Childhood cancer
- Growth curve analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology