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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-19

Cognitive assessment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Preliminary findings

1 Clinical Psychology Unit, Kidwai Memorial, Institute of Oncology (KMIO), Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Paediatric Oncology, Kidwai Memorial, Institute of Oncology (KMIO), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Anna Abraham
No. 5 Ramakrishnappa Road, Cox Town, Bangalore - 560 005, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.56330

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Aim: The objective of this study was to assess the cognitive functions of Indian children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), periodically after initiation of treatment since prospective longitudinal research in this area on the Indian population has not been adequately documented. Unlike many western studies that have targeted survivors of ALL, we aimed to bring out the cognitive outcome after initiation of treatment. Materials and Methods: The cognitive functions of 19 patients diagnosed to have ALL were assessed using standardized tests after induction chemotherapy, and periodically thereafter following the second course of treatment comprising central nervous system-directed radiotherapy, and chemotherapy using intrathecal methotrexate. Results: The study found a statistically significant decline in the intelligence quotient and a deficit in the cognitive function of analytical reasoning. Conclusion: This preliminary study supports findings of an earlier Indian study and many studies conducted in the west. Since the life expectancy of these children has increased and most of them have long-term survival, and even cure, we suggest that identifying and managing children with cognitive difficulties are important in the rehabilitation of these children.

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