Associations among treatment-related neurological risk factors and neuropsychological functioning in survivors of childhood brain tumor

Mark D. McCurdy, Shruti Rane, Brian P. Daly, Lisa A. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Adverse neurological side effects associated with childhood brain tumors and their treatments contribute to long-term neurocognitive morbidity. Measures designed to quantify tumor-related risk factors are lacking. The neurological predictor scale (NPS) is designed to assess treatment-related neurological risks. Preliminary validation established associations between the NPS and global cognitive functioning in this population, though its associations with specific neurobehavioral domains has yet to be addressed. Participants referred for outpatient neuropsychological assessment completed performance-based measures of intellectual, attentional, working memory, motor speed, and executive abilities. Caregivers completed ratings of adaptive functioning. Neuropsychological and adaptive data were available for 100 brain tumor survivors (51 % female), ages 6 to 22 years (M = 12.83, SD = 4.37). Total NPS scores were generated via retrospective medical record review. Total NPS scores were significantly associated with several neurocognitive composite scores including verbal reasoning and working memory, after controlling for years post-diagnosis (ps < .05). NPS scores also were significantly associated with performance-based measures of attention, executive functioning, and cognitive efficiency (ps < .05). No significant relationship was demonstrated between NPS scores and caregiver-reported adaptive behavior skills (ps > .05). Results indicate that the NPS is associated with performance-based neurocognitive functioning and executive skills but not with functioning in specific caregiver-reported adaptive behavior domains. The NPS offers some value as a resource for understanding associations between treatment-related neurological risks and select aspects of neurocognitive morbidity. Future studies should examine whether the NPS can aid in planning appropriate therapeutic intervention as survivors progress into early adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Attention
  • Children
  • Functioning
  • Processing speed
  • Reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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