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Methylphenidate improves cognitive function and health-related quality of life in survivors of childhood brain tumours

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2022 Dec 29:1-21. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2022.2157446. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: The growing population of survivors of childhood brain tumors present the challenge of long-term quality of survival. The domains most affected by tumor and treatment are those implicated in development of typical intellectual functions: attention, working memory, and processing speed, with consequent effects upon function and quality of life. In this paper we present service evaluation data on the 12-month effect upon processing speed, visual and auditory attentional domains in 29 patients receiving methylphenidate aged 5-16 years (Mean=10.6).

METHODS: Patients received immediate-release methylphenidate and were converted to modified-release as appropriate. Mean optimal dose of immediate-release methylphenidate was 0.34 mg/kg per dose (range 0.2-0.67).

RESULTS: Patients showed a significant positive impact of methylphenidate on attention in all tests of selective visual attention from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children 2. A significant improvement was also shown on response time. Significant change was not found on psychometric measures of sustained auditory or visual attention, or selective auditory attention. Ratings of Health-Related Quality of Life showed a positive benefit of methylphenidate at 12 months. Side effects were minimal and not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Survivors of childhood brain tumor with attentional and processing speed deficit show clinical benefit from methylphenidate.

PMID:36580420 | DOI:10.1080/09602011.2022.2157446

By Nevin Manimala

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