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Current opinion in neurology


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review succinctly summarizes the recent literature regarding etiological contributors to impaired neurocognitive function (NCF) in adult patients with glioma. A brief overview of intervention and prevention strategies is also provided.

RECENT FINDINGS: A majority of patients with glioma exhibit NCF deficits, most frequently in memory and executive functioning. Impairments are often disabling and associated with reduced quality of life and survival. Cause is multifactorial and includes the tumour itself, treatments received and associated comorbidities. Although modern techniques such as brain mapping, dosing modifications and prophylactic medication aim to improve the NCF outcomes following neurosurgical resection and radiation therapy, a sizeable proportion of patients continue to evidence treatment-related NCF declines related to adverse effects to both local and distributed cerebral networks. Numerous patient and tumour characteristics, including genetic markers and sociodemographic factors, influence the pattern and severity of NCF impairment. Some rehabilitative and pharmacologic approaches show promise in mitigating NCF impairment in this population, though benefits are somewhat modest and larger scale intervention studies are needed.

SUMMARY: Research regarding NCF in patients with glioma has dramatically proliferated, providing insights into the mechanisms underlying impaired NCF and pointing to potential interventions, though further work is needed.

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