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Memory Deficits Among Children With Craniopharyngiomas

Sarah C. Carpentieri, Deborah P. Waber, R. Michael Scott, Liliana C. Goumnerova, Mark W. Kieran, Laurie E. Cohen, Francine Kim, Amy L. Billett, Nancy J. Tarbell, Scott L. Pomeroy

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ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To describe neuropsychological functioning (with a specific focus on cognition and memory) after surgical treatment of craniopharyngiomas. METHODS Sixteen patients who were between 6 and 15 years of age at the time of surgery comprised the sample. Each child had been treated for a craniopharyngioma with surgery only, on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Protocol 92-077. RESULTS The overall level of cognitive functioning was well within the average range, with both language and visuospatial functioning being generally intact; however, specific memory problems, in both the language and visuospatial domains, were evident. CONCLUSION Although general cognitive functioning was intact after the surgical treatment of craniopharyngiomas, difficulties in the retrieval of learned information were observed. Neuropsychological assessments, with a focus on memory recall, should be a component of the medical management plan for each child.