Cognitive impact of lower-grade gliomas and strategies for rehabilitation

Neurooncol Pract. 2020 Nov 4;8(2):117-128. doi: 10.1093/nop/npaa072. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Outcomes for patients with lower-grade gliomas (LrGGs) continue to improve with advances in molecular characterization and treatment. However, cognitive sequela from the tumor and its treatment leave a significant impact on health-related quality of life for these patients. Several factors affect each patient's cognition, such as tumor location, treatment, medication, and comorbidities. However, impairments of processing speed, attention, concentration, working memory, and executive function are common across LrGG patients. Cognitive rehabilitation strategies, well established in traumatic brain injury and stroke populations, are based on neural plasticity and functional reorganization. Adapting these strategies for implementation in patients with brain tumors is an active area of research. This article provides an overview of cognitive domains commonly impaired in LrGG patients and evidence for the use of cognitive rehabilitation strategies to address these impairments with the goal of improving health-related quality of life in this patient population.

Keywords: cognitive outcomes; cognitive rehabilitation; low-grade glioma; neurocognitive outcomes; primary brain tumor.

Publication types

  • Review