Objective: Depression adversely affects neurocognitive functioning in children and adolescents, particularly the areas of attention, working memory, and executive functioning. Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for developing depressive symptoms and are known to experience neurocognitive late effects following cancer treatment. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of depression on neurocognitive functions in a sample of pediatric patients diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Depression Method: Participants included 28 ALL patients aged 6–17 (68% males) who underwent neuropsychological evaluation following cancer treatment. Data were collected from evaluations conducted as part of routine care through a survivorship clinic at a medical university. Pearson correlations and regression analyses were conducted to determine the extent to which scores on the CBCL Withdrawn/Depressed scale predicted performance on measures of sustained attention, working memory, verbal and perceptual abstract reasoning, and inhibition. Results: CBCL scores did not account for significant variance on four neuropsychological measures. There was a negative relationship between CBCL scores and perceptual reasoning (r = −.43, p < .05). CBCL scores significantly predicted perceptual reasoning scores (β = −.19, t = −2.42, p < .05, CI = −.35 to −.03), and accounted for 18% (R2 = .189) of the variance in performance. Conclusion: Results indicate that depressive symptoms are generally not a significant influence on frontally-mediated functions of a small sample of pediatric ALL patients, with the exception of complex perceptual reasoning.
The Impact of Depressive Symptoms on Neuropsychological Test Performance in Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
G Alvarez, K McKittrick, D Dwelle, S Li; B-93
The Impact of Depressive Symptoms on Neuropsychological Test Performance in Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 556-557. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.188
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