Working memory abilities among children treated for medulloblastoma: Parent report and child performance

Sarah J. Knight*, Heather M. Conklin, Shawna L. Palmer, Jane E. Schreiber, Carol L. Armstrong, Dana Wallace, Melanie Bonner, Michelle A. Swain, Karen D. Evankovich, Donald J. Mabbott, Robyn Boyle, Qinlei Huang, Hui Zhang, Vicki A. Anderson, Amar Gajjar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


ObjectiveWe investigated the 5-year postsurgical developmental trajectory of working memory (WM) in children with medulloblastoma using parent and performance-based measures.MethodThis study included 167 patients treated for medulloblastoma. Serial assessments of WM occurred at predetermined time points for 5 years.Results There was a subtle, statistically significant increase in parental concern about WM, coupled with a statistically significant decrease in age-standardized scores on performance-based measures. However, whole-group mean scores on both parent and performance-based measures remained in the age-expected range. Posterior fossa syndrome was consistently associated with poorer WM. Younger age at treatment and higher treatment intensity were associated with greater negative change in WM performance only. ConclusionsMost children treated for medulloblastoma display WM within the age-appropriate range according to parent report and performance. However, the subtle negative changes over time and identified subgroups at increased risk highlight the need for ongoing monitoring of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • cancer and oncology
  • cognitive assessment
  • neurological disorders
  • neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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