Neuropsychological long-term sequelae after posterior fossa tumour resection during childhood

Steinlin, Maja; Imfeld, Sara; Zulauf, Prisca; Boltshauser, Eugen; Lövblad, Karl-Olaf; Lüthy, Annette Ridolfi; Perrig, Walter J.; Kaufmann, Franz (2003). Neuropsychological long-term sequelae after posterior fossa tumour resection during childhood. Brain, 126(9), pp. 1998-2008. Oxford University Press 10.1093/brain/awg195

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The importance of the cerebellum for non‐motor functions is becoming more and more evident. The influence on cognitive functions from acquired cerebellar lesions during childhood, however, is not well known. We present follow‐up data from 24 patients, who were operated upon during childhood for benign cerebellar tumours. The benign histology of these tumours required neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy. Post‐operatively, these children were of normal intelligence with a mean IQ of 99.1, performance intelligence quotient (PIQ) of 101.3 and verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ) of 96.8. However, 57% of patients showed abnormalities in subtesting. In addition, more extensive neuropsychological testing revealed significant problems for attention, memory, processing speed and interference. Visuo‐constructive problems were marked for copying the Rey figure, but less pronounced for recall of the figure. Verbal fluency was more affected than design fluency. Behavioural deficits could be detected in 33% of patients. Attention deficit problems were marked in 12.5%, whereas others demonstrated psychiatric symptoms such as mutism, addiction problems, anorexia, uncontrolled temper tantrums and phobia. Age at tumour operation and size of tumour had no influence on outcome. Vermis involvement was related to an increase in neuropsychological and psychiatric problems. The observation that patients with left‐sided cerebellar tumours were more affected than patients with right‐sided tumours is probably also influenced by a more pronounced vermian involvement in the former group. In summary, this study confirms the importance of the cerebellum for cognitive development and points to the necessity of careful follow‐up for these children to provide them with the necessary help to achieve full integration into professional life.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Faculty Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Steinlin, Maja, Perrig, Walter


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Oxford University Press




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

14 Aug 2014 11:24

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:34

Publisher DOI:





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