Cognitive impairment, especially short-term memory, [is] prevalent in adolescents with single ventricle congenital heart disease (CHD), [which] can deleteriously impact one's ability for self-care. To date, no research team has reported a link between memory loss and brain structural changes in this high risk, vulnerable population. Therefore, the specific aims for this study are to: 1) Compare brain [structural integrity] of regions which control memory (hippocampus, mammillary bodies [controlling for global cerebral volume and with other relevant cofactors]) between CHD adolescents and age- and gender-matched healthy controls, and 2) Examine the relationship between clinical/questionnaire measures of memory and [volumes of] brain structure[s that control memory function] [ controlling for global cerebral volume] in adolescents with single ventricle CHD and healthy controls. Using a comparative [research] design, 20 single ventricle CHD subjects and 40 age- and gender-matched healthy controls will undergo [high-resolution T1-weighted] structural brain [magnetic resonance imaging] and have memory testing using the Montreal Assessment of Cognition (MoCA) and the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML2). Inclusion criteria [for CHD] will be subjects between the ages of 14 to  years, single ventricl heart disease, and have undergone Fontan surgical completion, [and for controls will be age (+1 year) and gender-matched to CHD subjects and without any condition that may affect the brain.] [Magnetic resonance imaging] analysis will consist of volumetric measures of [bilateral] hippocampus and mammillary bodies of each subject. Statistical tests will consist of Spearman's Rho and [MANCOVA with age, gender, and global cerebral volume] as covariates with significance set at p <0.05. In summary, the overall purpose of the study is to identify the association between memory and structural brain injury in adolescents with CHD after staged surgical palliation. [The proposed study] has the potential to dramatically impact clinical practic, as information from this study can guide clinicians toward improved patient education/self-management strategies and assist researchers in the identification and testing of innovative interventions to improve memory and self-care in this growing [patient] population of single ventricle CHD survivors.
Cognitive deficits, particularly memory loss, are common in adolescents with single ventricle congenital heart disease and can impact their ability for self-care;[however, it] is uncertain if these memory deficits are associated with brain injury. This study will be the first to examine the relationship between memory loss and structural brain injury in adolescents with single ventricle congenital heart disease. The [proposed] study has the potential to dramatically impact clinical practice, as information from this study can guide clinicians toward improved patient education/self-care strategies and test innovative interventions to improve memory in this growing [patient] population.