Mathematics intervention for prevention of neurocognitive deficits in childhood leukemia.


Journal Article

Despite evidence that CNS treatment is associated with cognitive and academic impairment, interventions to prevent or mitigate these problems are limited. The purpose was to determine if early intervention can prevent declines in mathematics abilities.Fifty-seven children with ALL were enrolled and randomized to a Mathematics Intervention or Standard Care. Subjects completed neurocognitive assessments prior to the intervention, post-intervention, and 1 year later. Parents received written results and recommendations for use with their school. The Mathematics Intervention was based on Multiple Representation Theory and delivered individually over 1 year.Thirty-two of 57 subjects completed the study and were included in data analyses. These 32 subjects completed all neurocognitive assessments and, for those in the Intervention Group, 40-50 hours of the Mathematics Intervention. There were no group differences on relevant demographic variables; risk stratification; number of intrathecal methotrexate injections; or high dose systemic methotrexate. Significant improvements in calculation and applied mathematics from Baseline to Post-Intervention (P = 0.003 and 0.002, respectively) and in visual working memory from Baseline to 1 year Follow-up (P = 0.02) were observed in the Intervention but not the Standard Care Group. Results from repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated significant between group differences for applied mathematics [F(2,29) = 12.47, P < 0.001] and visual working memory [F(2,29) = 5.53, P = 0.009].The Mathematics Intervention improved mathematics abilities and visual working memory compared to standard care. Future studies are needed to translate the Mathematics Intervention into a "virtual" delivery method more readily available to parents and children.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moore, IM; Hockenberry, MJ; Anhalt, C; McCarthy, K; Krull, KR

Published Date

  • August 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 278 - 284

PubMed ID

  • 21938763

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21938763

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1545-5017

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1545-5009

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/pbc.23354


  • eng