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Reuters Health: Radiotherapy for some brain tumors may hamper new memories in kids

By Lorraine L. Janeczko

Children who've undergone radiotherapy for medulloblastoma or ependymoma might easily remember things that happened to them before their treatment, but struggle to remember what happens to them afterwards, researchers in Canada report.

The researchers asked the participants to recall two separate memories: an event from the previous month and one from as far back in time as they could remember. They then used the Children's Autobiographical Interview (CAI) to retrospectively evaluate the patients' memories for events that either preceded or followed their treatment.

Compared to the healthy controls, the patients treated for brain tumor recalled fewer details, such as time and place, from their recent memory; but the patients and controls recalled a similar amount of detail from their pre-treatment memory.

Dr. Kevin F. Ginn, a neuro-oncologist and the director of the Brain Tumor Program at Children's Mercy Kansas City, in Missouri, said by email, "We know from multiple studies and from our clinical care of these patients that their memory can be significantly affected by therapy."

"Attempts to reduce craniospinal radiation in young low-risk medulloblastoma patients have not been successful," explained Dr. Ginn, who was not involved in the study. "But radiation is currently essential to cure most patients with medulloblastoma, so new therapeutic approaches are desperately needed."


Read the full story via Reuters Health.

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