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Chemo Brain and Chemo Fog

Secondary effects of chemotherapy

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It is a well known fact that people who receive chemotherapy for cancer have a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment in later life than those who have never undergone chemotherapy. Patients who have been treated with higher doses of chemotherapy have a higher risk than those treated with standard doses. The duration of chemotherapy can also significantly affect cognitive impairment: the longer the treatments, the more it tends to affect cognition.

The condition is known as Chemo Fog or Chemo Brain and the exact mechanism that causes it is still unknown. Since chemotherapy is not specific, it affects more parts of the body than just the area where tumor is located. The central nervous system, including the brain, is particularly vulnerable to its side effects.

The effect of chemotherapy on cognition skills also appears to be generalized instead of restricted to a specific region of the brain. The range of cognitive skills that are affected by chemotherapy include attention, mental flexibility, reaction time, speed of information processing, visual-spatial memory, and motor and verbal function. However, it is known that chemotherapy might cause a reduction in gray matter throughout the brain, and also a reduction in regions of connective tissues in the brain.

Chemotherapy in an cancer patient produces a (generally mild) cognitive deterioration that causes problems in some areas like memory or attention. The cancer treatments produce a toxicity directly associated with the executive functions and cognitive abilities, which is why we must prevent this and train any cognitive aspect that may be affected by the treatment. CogniFit provides a general evaluation of the cognitive level of the patient in order to be able to determine what their cognitive level is, making it possible to train the most deficient areas. Scientific studies done with CogniFit training show the efficacy of the patient's cognitive abilities. It will be a helpful part of medical treatment.

References

James Siberski, Evelyn Shatil, Carol Siberski, Margie Eckroth-Bucher, Aubrey French, Sara Horton, Rachel F. Loefflad, Phillip Rouse. Computer-Based Cognitive Training for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Pilot Study - The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias 2014; doi: 10.1177/1533317514539376

Preiss M, Shatil E, Cermakova R, Cimermannova D, Flesher I (2013) Personalized cognitive training in unipolar and bipolar disorder: a study of cognitive functioning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00108.

Shatil E, Metzer A, Horvitz O, Miller A. - Home-based personalized cognitive training in MS patients: A study of adherence and cognitive performance - NeuroRehabilitation 2010; 26:143-53.

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