There's Now Proof That Chemo Brain Is Real

Cancer survivors have long reported that chemotherapy changes their brains for the worse, leaving them with memory loss and an inability to concentrate. And now there's firm evidence from West Virginia University School of Medicine that proves the existence of what has long been known as Chemo Brain.

Researchers had trouble identifying the connection between chemotherapy and loss of brain function in the past. They were using MRIs to analyse the change in the brain's appearance. Only small changes in brain volume were detected. However, this time around, scientists used PET and CT scans to look at chemo's affect on brain function and metabolism.

After looking at images from the brains of 128 people who had been through chemo treatment for breast cancer, doctors found a very clear cut connection. Post-chemo, there are specific areas of the brain — the ones devoted to planning and prioritising — that use less energy. While this might be an unfortunate and unavoidable side-effect, now doctors are aware that it's real. And that means there's room for early intervention, and at the very least to prepare patients and their families for what might be ahead. [Yahoo News — h/t @Xeni]

Image: Lasse Kristensen/Shutterstock


Comments

    Despite all the horrible and nasty side-effects of chemotherapy, if ever I'm unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cancer and prescribed this treatment, I'll still be 100% behind it. Life with slightly reduced cognitive abilities is far better than the alternative.

    been through chemo, it's a state of mind and how strong your will power is the chemistry doesn't help but it will not change who you are, in other words if you're not a lazy slob to begin with it should be OK

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