Short-Term Recovery of Balance Control: Association With Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Pediatric Oncology

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Purpose:To describe the incidence and short-term recovery of balance control in children and adolescents receiving neurotoxic treatment for noncentral nervous system cancers and to investigate the association of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and balance control.Methods:Sixty-five children and adolescents diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or other solid tumors were tested 3 to 6 months into treatment and 3 and 6 months following treatment using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Balance Subscale and Pediatric Modified Total Neuropathy Scale scores of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).Results:Seventy-eight percent of the participants scored 1 standard deviation or more below population means on the balance subscale while on treatment, and this improved to 53% by 6 months posttreatment, with the leukemia group performing worse at both time points. On-treatment balance scores were moderately associated with motor CIPN, while at 6 months posttreatment they were more closely associated with sensory CIPN.Conclusions:Mild to moderate balance impairments improve but can persist, even when CIPN has improved, 6 months after treatment for childhood cancer.

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