chemo brain

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chemo brain2016-11-08T20:15:00+00:00

chemo brain 


A term of recent vintage which dignifies the cognitive changes associated with chemotherapy, which occur in up to 30% of patients.

Clinical findings Poor concentration, decreased ability to multitask, reduced memory–both visual–e.g., grocery list and verbal–details of a conversation, shortened attention span, confusion–especially when learning new information, sense of disorganisation.

Cancers with highest risk Reproductive organ cancers–breast, ovarian, prostate, etc, and cancers treated aggressively

Pathogenesis Uncertain; prevailing theories

• Direct toxicity of chemotherapeutic agents

• Indirect effect of hormones on brain

Management Nothing is consistently effective; interventions used have includes antioxidants, cognitive behaviour therapy, erythropoietin, stimulant drugs–e.g., methylphenidate, modafinil–a wakefulness-promoting agent, hormone therapy, prayer

Synonyms Chemo fog, chemobrain, chemotherapy-related brain fog, chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment 



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