Children treated for brain tumours often suffer from late-appearing complications, including impaired cognitive performance. In this study, 475 Swedish children diagnosed with a brain tumour before their 15th birthday and 2197 matched controls were included.

Data from compulsory national tests performed school year nine in the first foreign language English, the mother tongue Swedish and mathematics were analysed. These tests offered more detailed information on academic strengths and weaknesses than the final grades, as different skill sets were assessed. Cases performed worse than controls in English tests than in Swedish and mathematics tests, and they may have performed better in oral than written tasks.

There were larger differences between girls treated for brain tumours and their female controls than between boys treated for brain tumours and their male controls. National tests may be useful to complement neuropsychological follow-ups. Characterising these shortcomings is essential to provide appropriate support and prevent social isolation.

Read the full article

Malin Lönnerblad, Eva Berglund, Ingrid Van't Hooft och Klas Blomgren