A Translational Animal Model Of Radiation-Induced Effects On Cognitive Functions: A Feasibility Study



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Neurocognitive late-effects are commonly reported among survivors of pediatric brain cancer. Radiation therapy has been linked to these neurocognitive deficits in attention, working memory, and processing speed. The current feasibility study was conducted in order to establish whether it is possible to model these deficits in the rodent. Using the 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT), prefrontal cognitive processes, which are reported to be among the most affected in the pediatric cancer population, can be assessed in the rodent. Irradiated and control animals were trained to perform the 5-CSRTT and tested at four separate time points. Irradiated animals showed significant impairments compared with control animals at 5, 7, and 12 months post-irradiation. These results show that deficits in prefrontal-mediated cognitive processes induced by radiation therapy can be successfully modeled in the rodent.



Radiation therapy, Pediatric cancer, Cognitive deficits, Attention, 5-choice serial reaction time task