Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chemobrain--Fact or Fancy

The word "chemobrain" has circulated for years, often slightly below the radar: something that has been touted, denied, argued about, and you name it. It is now pretty well accepted, however, that perhaps 75% of cancer survivors may experience “foggier” thinking as an outcome of cancer and chemotherapy treatment. Although scientists are divided on the exact cause of chemobrain, it can be a difficult and limiting residue of cancer treatment. But what to do about it?  An independent peer-reviewed study has found that breast cancer survivors who used a set of Posit Science's visual brain training exercises available as part of BrainHQ showed significant improvements in memory, brain speed, anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life--post surgery and chemo. Avoid discounting the recommendations simply because the study used brain training exercises that were part of the BrainHQ programs. There are other options available (Lumosity.com for example) to investigate. The bottom line is to get serious about doing challenging mental aerobic brain exercises for at least 30 minutes a day. More tomorrow. 

Disclaimer:  The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Posit Science Corporation is the developer of the speed of processing (Insight®) program used in this study. Posit Science Corporation holds the patent for and a proprietary interest in this software. The software was provided at cost of the CD by Posit Science. Dr. Karlene Ball is on the Board of Directors of Posit Science and has stock in the company. Dr. Unverzagt has received support for training for an investigator initiated research from Posit Science.

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