Neuropsychological Consequences of Cancer and Cancer Treatment Purpose: This review paper was written to facilitate greater understanding of functional cognitive deficits associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Rehabilitation of patients with cancer also has been considered in this review to raise awareness of this potentially underserved population. Method: A review of the literature pertaining to cognitive effects ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2008
Neuropsychological Consequences of Cancer and Cancer Treatment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jacob Kean
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
    Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN
  • Dona E. C. Locke
    Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2008
Neuropsychological Consequences of Cancer and Cancer Treatment
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2008, Vol. 18, 144-151. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.4.144
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2008, Vol. 18, 144-151. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.4.144
Abstract

Purpose: This review paper was written to facilitate greater understanding of functional cognitive deficits associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Rehabilitation of patients with cancer also has been considered in this review to raise awareness of this potentially underserved population.

Method: A review of the literature pertaining to cognitive effects of cancer and cancer therapy was conducted.

Results and Conclusions: A growing literature suggests the phenomenon popularly called “chemo brain” results from dysfunction of frontal-subcortical networks and manifests as deficits of executive functioning (e.g., reasoning, decision-making, resource allocation), processing speed, inhibition, and goal-oriented behaviors. Further research is needed, however, to attribute clearly these broad cognitive side effects to the disease process and each of several treatments and to establish the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation for patients with cancer.

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