Expired Study
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Memphis, Tennessee 38105


Children treated for a brain tumor (BT) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) show elevated rates of working memory impairment. Working memory (WM) is the ability to hold and manipulate information online; for example, when an individual mentally rehearses a phone number in order to dial it without writing it down. A computer-based working memory intervention has been successful in children diagnosed with ADHD and stroke survivors. Individuals participating in the intervention showed improvements on working memory measures as well as more complex problem solving skills. Neuroimaging (brain scans) conducted before and after training showed changes in brain activation suggestive of underlying changes in brain systems that support working memory. This study investigates the effectiveness of this computer-based working memory intervention for childhood cancer survivors.

Study summary:

Participants randomized to the intervention arm will complete the computerized working memory training program. This computer-based training program is completed in the home and requires approximately 30 minutes every weekday for five weeks. The program software guides the child through eight rotating exercises each day, with increasing difficulty based on the child's level of performance. Exercises train both visuospatial and verbal WM using child-friendly activities. A research team member will serve as a coach who monitors weekly progress online and offers support through weekly phone calls with the study participants and their caregivers. This individual will not complete post-intervention assessments to maintain study blind. A home computer with internet connection and speakers is required. A laptop computer and/or wireless internet access will be provided to families whose only obstacle to participation is lack of computer access or internet connectivity in the home setting. Families randomized to the WM intervention will complete a tutorial with study staff that provides instruction in using a computer, the internet and the WM training software. The objective of this study is to investigate the benefits of this working memory intervention in a sample of childhood cancer survivors and look at brain-based changes that may occur as the result of working memory intervention. To achieve this goal, we plan to study childhood cancer survivors randomly assigned to the working memory intervention or a passive waitlist. Both groups will participate in cognitive testing pre-, post-, and six months post intervention. Intervention participants will also partake in neuroimaging exams before and after the intervention. Findings from this study have direct potential to support a nonpharmaceutical cognitive intervention for cancer survivors that is a safe and effective alternative to stimulant medications with great promise for improving quality of life.


Inclusion Criteria for Screening Phase: - Received CNS-directed treatment (intrathecal chemotherapy or cranial irradiation) for a BT or ALL - Infratentorial tumor location (for the BT cohort) - Off treatment for at least one year with no evidence of recurrent or progressive disease - Age 8-16 years inclusive at the time of enrollment - English as the primary language - Research participant and one parent willing to participate and provide consent/assent according to institutional guidelines Exclusion Criteria for Screening Phase - Significant impairment in global intellectual functioning (estimated or full scale IQ < 70 based on standardized testing routinely conducted on primary treatment protocols) - History of CNS injury/disease predating or unrelated to cancer diagnosis - Documented ADHD predating cancer diagnosis - Treatment with psychostimulant or psychotropic medication within two weeks of study participation - Major sensory or motor impairment that would preclude valid cognitive testing secondary to inability to complete study procedures (e.g., blindness, paresis, poorly controlled seizures/photosensitive epilepsy, psychosis) Inclusion Criteria for Intervention Phase - Signed screening consents and has undergone screening - Fully evaluable psychological testing results (including IQ > or = 70) - Age-scaled score on Digit Span, Letter-Number Sequencing or Spatial Span < 7 OR at least one standard deviation below IQ score - Training aide is available to participate in required sessions - Participant and training aide demonstrate computer proficiency - Participant has access to or will be provided a laptop or home computer with internet connection and speakers - Participant willing to participate in required aspects of computerized intervention - Participant is able to take part in fMRI without sedation Exclusion Criteria for Intervention Phase - Major psychological condition that would preclude completion of protocol intervention (e.g., significant oppositionality, autism spectrum disorder, severe anxiety or depressive symptoms) - Orthodontic appliances that cause MRI distortion or signal loss outside the mouth and sinus area



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Heather M Conklin, Ph.D
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Memphis, Tennessee 38105
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: August 31, 2019

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