ABSTRACT Purpose: to investigate cognitive and psychological problems in children treated for intracranial ependymoma, the evolution of these disorders over time and the role of age at radiotherapy and tumor site, in their onset and persistence. Methods and Materials: 23 patients received a complete evaluation; some of them underwent follow-ups. The clinical data collected included sex, age (at diagnosis, assessment and tumor treatment, thus dividing patients into two cohorts: younger or older than 5 years), site (supratentorial vs. subtentorial), the presence of hydrocephalus, neurological examination, tumor treatment. All the patients received an age-appropriate cognitive and psychological evaluation. Results: The mean cognitive level was within the norm, with lower scores on the Performance Intelligence Quotient (PIQ). The psychological assessment revealed Internalizing problems and impaired independence. Children older than 5 years had a lower Intelligence Quotient (IQ) than the younger children, both at the initial evaluation and at follow-ups. Initially, the supratentorial group appeared to be less impaired than the subtentorial group but then exhibited a progressive decline in the IQ. In the subtentorial group, the children with an IQ within the normal range remained stable at the follow-up, while the children with below-norm scores at the initial evaluation showed deterioration over time. Conclusions: Tumor site seems to affect the cognitive outcome to a greater extent than age at radiotherapy.
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