Hope For Breast Cancer Patients Suffering From Chemobrain
Researchers will present data at the International Neuropsychological Society's annual meeting showing that training on the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program improves mental function in cancer patients with "chemobrain". "Chemobrain" is a condition associated with chemotherapy that results in decreased cognition. It affects quality of life by impairing concentration and the ability to make decisions and often limits patients' ability to deal with daily activities of life such as caring for children, working and household duties.
Nineteen breast cancer patients, all women, who underwent chemotherapy and reported having "chemobrain" participated in the study. Each used the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program. The program consists of a series of 6 specially designed exercises that have been shown in published studies to improve memory and speed of processing in mature adults.
Study results showed that participants had statistically significant improvements in cognitive function, stress levels and health-related quality of life, suggesting that the benefits generalized into every day life.
"When I began the training, I couldn't remember appointments, where I put things and I had trouble finding the right word," said Sueann Mark, PhD, who participated in the study. Dr. Mark says she started to notice changes after just a couple of weeks. "My attention span was getting longer. I could read through entire articles that a couple of weeks ago I couldn't get through. Knowing that I was exercising my mind and reactivating it was really comforting to me."
"While further studies are needed, the implications for improved brain health in cancer patients looks promising," said lead researcher, Sarah Kim, MA. "It's a practical approach to improving the quality of life in cancer patients because it is non-invasive and therefore, does not require additional medication and does not interfere with the cancer treatment."