, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 309-318,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Feb 2012

Cognition and resective surgery for diffuse infiltrative glioma: an overview

Abstract

Compared to classical oncological outcome measures such as time to progression and survival, the importance of cognitive functioning in patients with diffuse infiltrative brain tumors has only recently been recognized. Apart from the relatively low incidence and the invariably fatal outcome of gliomas, the general assumption that cognitive assessment is time-consuming and burdensome contributes to this notion. Our understanding of the effects of brain surgery on cognition, for instance, is largely based on studies in surgical patients with refractory epilepsy, with only a limited number of studies in surgical patients with gliomas. The impact of other factors affecting cognition in glioma patients such as direct tumor effects, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and medical treatment, including anti-epileptic drugs and steroids, have been studied more extensively. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of cognition in patients with diffuse infiltrative gliomas and the impact of resective surgery as well as other tumor and treatment-related factors.