Children who experience cancer may develop neurocognitive impairments after treatment. Our group focuses on the early identification and intervention of cognitive impairments using a combination of neuropsychological and neuroimaging measures. These studies will ultimately help to prevent further neuropsychological difficulties in patients and survivors of cancer.
It has been hypothesized that neurocognitive deficits arise from white matter insult, particularly after cranial radiation treatment. Problems with sleep or stress are two other factors that may also lead to functional or structural deficits in the brain, however, associations between sleep, stress, and neuroimaging outcomes have not been investigated systematically.
With my project, I will use MRI to examine functional and structural changes in pediatric brain tumor patients. This will then provide further insight into the neurobiological substrates of cognitive deficits in our survivors.