Scientists find more evidence of "chemo brain"
Preliminary results from a new study show decreased performance in young cancer patients’ cognitive tests in at least the first five years after chemotherapy. Previous research that looked for physiological evidence for “chemo brain” – the mental fog described by cancer patients after receiving chemo treatment – also found that there are specific areas of the brain responsible for prioritizing and planning that use less energy following chemotherapy.
The University of Manchester in the U.K. reports that more than half of the participants in their study had scores similar to the bottom 10 percent of the general population for spatial abilities, and a quarter performed in the bottom 10 percent for long-term verbal memory.
The study is the first in the U.K. to investigate how memory and attention performance are affected by chemotherapy across several different cancer groups, including breast cancer, lymphoma, sarcoma and germ cell tumor.