A study conducted by the Baylor University in which they compared children suffering from brain tumors to the children with healthy brains. The study revealed that children undergoing radiation treatment for any type of brain tumor are less likely to recollect a specific memory after the treatment, which is not a case in pre-treatment condition.
The finding of the study is relatable because children after the treatment had less volume in the hippocampus. Hippocampus plays a crucial role in memory. Director of Sekeres Memory Laboratory at Baylor University and a Ph.D. holder, Melanie Sekeres, says that this condition occurs with the people who suffers from brain injury, dementia, epileptic amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, encephalitis and aging, in which both recent and remote memories are weakened. He also added by saying that episodic memories before the treatment were not disturbed.
The researcher focused on “autobiographical memory” that is related unique personal events and includes by recollecting perceptual details and emotions making the person re-experience the moment, as per the study published in the journal of Neuroscience.
The radiation affects the development of the new cells in nervous system, including the growth of new neurons in hippocampus or neurogenesis. The treatment plays a significant role in reducing the volume of the hippocampus. As, the need for new cells is crucial for regulating memory and spatial learning that is used for navigation, gets limited after the treatment. Thus, limiting the ability to form new memories.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are widely used to treat the malignant brain tumor in children named medulloblastoma.