Aug 4, 2009
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Good article today in the NYT on “chemo brain” – some typical short-term and long-term cognitive consequences of chemotherapy.
The Fog That Follows Chemotherapy (New York Times)
This quote is critical – for chemo brain and also for a variety of clinical conditions that present associated cognitive impairments: “Controlling for brain function before cancer treatment begins can help determine cause and effect. In one study, cancer patients took a battery of neuropsychological tests before starting chemotherapy, three weeks after completing treatment, and again one year later. Although a third of the patients had signs of cognitive impairment before therapy began, the number jumped to 61 percent after treatment, and half remained impaired a year later.”
As we have discussed before, we believe that inexpensive computerized cognitive assessments will start to become widely available in only a few years, to help set up individualized cognitive baselines and inform clinical diagnoses and treatments. For more, you can read Computerized Cognitive Assessments: opportunities and concerns