Connectome organization in childhood ALL and risk of delayed neurodevelopment

Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

A new study provides novel insights into the cognitive effects of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and of chemotherapeutic treatment in long-term survivors of ALL. The findings from comparative studies of structural and functional connectome organization, showing that connectome disruption is associated with delayed neurodevelopment, are published in an article in Brain Connectivity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Brain Connectivity website through September 27, 2018.

In the article entitled “Brain Network Connectivity and Executive Function in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” Kevin Krull, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN and a team of researchers from St. Jude’s and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston reported poor global connectivity and lower information exchange and network integration in study participants with executive dysfunction – compared to those without – which is one of the most consistently observed deficits observed in this population. The study included 161 long-term survivors of ALL who were 8-21 years of age.

The younger the age at which the children had been diagnosed with ALL and the more chemotherapy they had received correlated with increased risk for impaired connectome efficiency and poorer global information processing.

“The 10-year cure rate for ALL is approaching over 90% in children,” states Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Brain Connectivity. “Long-term cognitive impairment is a serious issue facing ALL survivors and there has been a lack of understanding of the mechanism of how ALL and chemotherapy affect brain function. Dr. Krull and his colleagues have designed a very large follow-up study of ALL survivors investigating brain functional changes after a cure is obtained. They establish for the first time using brain imaging that age of diagnosis and the length of chemotherapeutic treatment have compounding maladaptive effects on the brain networks involved in executive cognitive function.”


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers MH085849, CA195547, CA21765, 1R01CA172145, and 1R01NR014195. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


About the Journal


Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivity website.


About the Publisher


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Neurotrauma and Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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