Feasibility and outcomes of a home-based computerized cognitive training intervention for childhood brain tumor survivors

Research institution: Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota

Investigator(s): Dr. Bonnie Carlson-Greene, Dr. Anne Bendel, Meixia Liu
Program: Cogmed RM

Background & Aim: Treatment for childhood brain tumor, including surgery, cranial radiation therapy (CRT) and chemotherapy can have deleterious effects on the developing brain. Particularly, deficits in working memory (WM) and attention brought about by cancer treatment have long term impacts on educational outcomes and employment opportunities. Although cognitive rehabilitation and pharmacological interventions have met with some success in ameliorating neurocognitive declines in these children, there is a still a need for feasible interventions that are accessible for patients and their families. The aim is this study is to assess the feasibility and efficacy of Cogmed in childhood brain tumor survivors, to show statistically significant improvements in patients’ WM over baseline testing, to demonstrate concomitant improvement on parent and teacher rating of executive function, attention and adaptive behavior and to show generalizability of results to academic measures of math and reading at 6 month follow-up.

Population & Sample Size: N = 20 children with brain tumor (1 year post CRT & chemotherapy), ages 8-17 years (Note: Training protocol extended to 35 days)

Design: Prospective, Self-controlled, Feasibility, Test-retest, 6 month follow-up