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Are the effects of “chemo brain” irreversible?

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Air date: December 9, 2012

Host: Barbara Lewis

Cancer Patient Care Research
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Interview: Diane Von Ah, R.N., Ph.D.,Assistant professor and Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar at the Indiana University School of Nursing.

“Chemo brain” was coined for cognitive problems such as memory difficulties and slow processing speed experienced by patients receiving chemotherapy. In a recent study, Diane Von Ah, R.N., Ph.D., assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing, implemented strategies to improve these cognitive deficits in breast cancer patients, particularly those still experiencing detrimental cognitive effects of chemotherapy one year after treatment.

Von Ah found that the patients who used memory training and computer programs experienced improved cognitive functioning, including memory and processing speed, which is promising for survivors of breast cancer to regain their pretreatment level of cognitive functioning.

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