Journal of Neurooncology Publishes Intern's Research

January 2, 2012 - Congratulations to one of our Psychology Interns, Surabhi Patwardhan, MA, on her publication in the Journal of Neurooncology.

The article is entitled, "A randomized trial on the efficacy of methylphenidate and modafinil for improving cognitive functioning and symptoms in patients with a primary brain tumor."

Ms. Patwardhan is a Psychology Intern with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She previously received her training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Houston, where she was affiliated with institutions as the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center. Her main research interest is neurocognitive impairment associated with primary brain tumors and their treatment. She has also done work in aging and dementia. She received the valedictorian award at University of Mumbai, India and the presidential fellowship award for two years at the University of Houston. She is extensively trained in German and has completed advanced courses in the language in Berlin, Germany on a fellowship from Goethe Institut.

The article explains that primary brain tumor patients regularly report cognitive changes. Preserving patients' cognitive status is important for the maintenance of their quality of life. Several drugs, including stimulants, have been assessed to treat cognitive deficits of primary brain tumor. However, empirical evidence on the effectiveness of stimulants is limited.

In the study, Ms. Patwardhan and coauthors investigated the efficacy of two different types of psychostimulants: methylphenidate and modafinil. They provided participating primary brain tumor patients with 4-weeks of either methylphenidate or modafinil. It was observed that stimulant medication improved patients' processing speed and divided attention. Largely, methylphenidate appeared to benefit attention, while modafinil improved processing speed. Patients receiving stimulants also reported decrease in fatigue and improvements in their mood and quality of life.

Overall, this study demonstrated favorable effects of methylphenidate and modafinil for primary brain tumor patients experiencing cognitive deficits.     

"Ms. Patwardhan is off to a good start on a promising research career," says Anne Herring, PhD, Director of the Predoctoral Clinical Psychology Internship Program and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

For more information on the article, click here.

Release Date: 
01/02/2012 - 11:49am