Chemotherapy causes irreversible brain changes

The post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, which is also known as chemo brain have long been suspected, but no research could confirm it. The recent research evidences the cognitive impairment which can result from chemotherapy treatment.

The research has been conducted by scientists from the University of British Colombia Departments of Psychology and Physical Therapy.

As it is concluded, chemotherapy treatment can generate mind wandering and inability to concentrate.

Patients, who recovered after breast cancer therapy, were asked to complete special tasks. The results showed that their brain turned out to stay in a disengaged state.

Todd Handy, a professor of psychology at UBC said, 'A healthy brain spends some time wandering and some time engaged. We found that chemo brain is a chronically wandering brain, they're essentially stuck in a shut out mode.'

It is also specified, that even when women were trying to focus on a subject, the measurements showed that the major part of their brain was turned off and they couldn't concentrate. They were focused on their inner world instead.

'Physicians now recognize that the effects of cancer treatment persist long after its over and these effects can really impact a person's life,' said Kristin Campbell, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and leader of the research team.

It was also evidenced that in a relaxed state, the brain was excessively active.

Forgetfulness, that patients have to deal with, brings about challenge at work and in social situations.

The research should provide new ways of treating patients that lack the ability for sustained focused thought.

Read article in Russian on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru

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