Grant ID RP230018
Awarded On February 15, 2023
Title Neuronal Alterations in the Midbrain Dopaminergic System Function: A Novel Mechanism of Radiation Induced Cognitive Dysfunction
Program Academic Research
Award Mechanism Individual Investigator Research Awards for Cancer in Children and Adolescents
Institution/Organization The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Principal Investigator/Program Director Die Zhang
Cancer Sites Brain and Other Nervous System
Contracted Amount $1,399,730
Lay Summary

Radiation therapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of brain tumors. However, especially in young patients, successful treatment outcomes are unfortunately associated with long-term declines in cognitive function. However, remarkably little is known regarding the mechanisms of radiation-induced cognitive impairment. The ventral tegmental area (VTA), which connects the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and other limbic brain regions, is critically important in cognitive functions including reward, motivation, decision making and learning, all of which may be impacted in patients treated with brain radiation. Although significant dysfunctions in the VTA dopamine system have been identified in...

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