Taking Steps to Cope With Chemo Brain
New York Times
Jane E. Brody
August 10, 2009
The Fog That Follows Chemotherapy
New York Times
Jane E. Brody
August 3, 2009
Link to Article
Check the Consults blog, “When Cancer Treatment Affects Memory,” where Dr. Daniel Silverman, a leading researcher in the field and co-author with Idelle Davidson of “Your Brain After Chemo: A Practical Guide to Lifting the Fog and Getting Back Your Focus,” is answering questions.
Volunteers Sought for “Chemo Brain” Study
at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center are seeking volunteers
recently treated for breast cancer who may be experiencing cognitive
difficulties, a condition often referred to as “chemo brain.”
The pilot study aims to develop and evaluate a rehabilitation program for breast cancer survivors who believe they are having trouble thinking and concentrating after receiving treatment. Study volunteers will be asked to come to UCLA for a 90-minute initial baseline visit, then return once a week for six weeks to participate in two- to three-hour group intervention sessions. Volunteers will need to return to UCLA for one-hour follow-up visits two months and six months after the intervention.
‘Women with ‘chemo brain’ often can’t focus, remember things or multitask the way they did before their breast cancer treatments. They can be overwhelmed with day-to-day life,” said Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of cancer prevention and control research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal investigator of the study. “They can’t recall phone numbers or where they put their keys. The group intervention program is designed to address these concerns, to provide tools and techniques to aid with memory and focus.”
Ganz and her team are seeking 25 volunteers to participate in the study, which is funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
To find out more about the study, call (310) 825-2520.
UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation’s largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2009, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 12 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 10 consecutive years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at http://www.cancer.ucla.edu.
VABION Launches New Chemo Brain eBook Guide
United States of America (News Release) May 14- Richmond, VA based
VABION LLC (VABION)
VABION LLC (VABION) announced today that that VABION chief executive and chief scientist Susan Hardwicke, Ph.D. has completed an eBook on chemo brain, and that the book is now available online. Dr. Hardwicke is a specialist in cognitive skills and neuro-nutrition whose experience in recovering from chemo brain inspired the creation of a program designed to help consumers and professionals. Chemo Brain and Recovery: A Guide to Survival presents the program.
“While many in the research community debate about how to measure the effects of chemotherapy on the brain, many thousands of cancer survivors are suffering from chemo brain impairment,”
Chemo brain symptoms range from memory impairment, attention and focus problems, language difficulties, slower processing speed, and motor control. Many patients with chemo brain report feeling as though they are in a fog and cannot clear it. According to Dr. Hardwicke, who has examined brainwaves on electroencephalograph (EEG) systems, the fog has a measurable correlate in higher slow wave activity and reduced alert states. The difficulties associated with chemo brain can be reduced and nearly eliminated with specific, symptom-specific strategies.
“When professional advice about chemo brain is provided,” Dr. Hardwicke states, “it consists of a list of very general activities, such as solving crossword puzzles, making ‘to do’ lists, and engaging the support of family and friends.” Research and practice from clinical neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and nutraceuticals provide tools to recover from chemo brain. “In a way similar to physical therapy for stroke victims, chemotherapy patients can rewire their brains and feel more like themselves after chemo brain,” Dr. Hardwicke added.
Dr. Hardwicke experienced and largely recovered from memory impairment, speech difficulties, and decision-making as a result of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. The brain’s characteristic of neurogenesis, which is the capacity to grow new cells, as well as proper nutrition and mental exercise, can alleviate many concerns from chemo brain.
For additional information on chemo brain, or to learn more about the book, visit the company’s website at http://www.vabion.com/