1Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), Radiology Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States; 2Neurology Department, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States; 3Center for NMR Research, Radiology Department, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States; 4Neurosurgery Department, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States
Recent advances in effective treatments for pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) have improved the survival rate. However, side effects of treatment have become an important focus of investigation. Our research was to investigate the long-term effects of chemotherapy on the cerebral structural alterations and plasticity. We studied brain anatomic images of young children with ALL who were treated with prophylactic CNS-directed chemotherapy. Our volumetric analysis uncovered a significant decrease in bilateral WM volume of the superior frontal lobe (SFL) in all ALL cohorts compared to controls. Thus, developmental delay in its growth in the SFL may be mainly responsible for deficits in attention, working memory, academic achievement in childhood ALL.