The purpose of this study is to better understand why some children with cancer have difficulty speaking after brain surgery, which may result from complications in the language centers in the brain. These language centers may be located in slightly different places in different people. Through the use of imaging and assessment techniques, this study is determining which areas of the brain may be damaged.
Researchers are assessing children using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tension imaging (DTI), and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF) tool. fMRI helps investigators learn which parts of the brain handle certain functions, such as language. DTI is used to see how different parts of the brain communicate with one another. The CELF includes questions that assess language ability and help determine if a language problem is present.
All of these tools are used in the standard care of patients who will be having surgery for tumors near the language centers of the brain. In this study, they are performed both before and after surgery.