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Subjective memory impairment in glioma patients with curative radiotherapy

Donix, M.; Seidlitz, A.; Buthut, M.; Löck, S.; Meissner, G.; Matthes, C.; Troost, E. G. C.; Baumann, M.; Raschke, F.; Linn, J.; Krause, M.

Abstract

Background: Radiotherapy in patients with primary brain tumors may affect hippocampal structure and
cause dyscognitive side-effects.
Patients and methods: Using structural MRI and comprehensive neurocognitive evaluation, we investi-
gated associations between hippocampal structure and memory deficits in 15 patients with WHO grade
3 and grade 4 gliomas receiving standard radio(chemo)therapy.
Results: We did not find changes in hippocampal thickness or cognitive abilities three months after com-
pleting radiotherapy. However, subjective memory impairment was associated with symptoms of
depression, but not with objective memory performance, cortical thickness of the hippocampus or radi-
ation dose.
Conclusions: Irrespective of whether there is a bidirectional relationship between affective changes and
subjective cognitive dysfunction in these patients, depressive symptoms remain a target for intervention
to improve their quality of life. The results of our pilot study highlight that future assessment of side
effects of radiotherapy concerning memory should include assessments of depressive symptoms.

Keywords: radiotherapy; hippocampus; MRI; neurocognitive evaluation; subjective memory impairment

Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-34531