How Chemo Can Affect Your BrainThe Breast Cancer Site
By Robin Wulffson MD for eMaxHealth.com
Chemotherapy has been reported to have a number of adverse effects on patients receiving it for cancer treatment. Many cancer patients who receive chemotherapy are troubled with memory problems during and after the treatment. The condition, known as “chemo brain,” has only been a reported occurrence; however, it has not been verified with a scientific study. Researchers affiliated with the University of West Virginia (Morgantown, West Virginia) have now verified the condition via a radiologic procedure. They reported their findings at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), which runs from November 25 through November 30 in Chicago, Illinois.
The researchers used positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) to obtain physiological evidence of chemo brain; thus, proving it to be a very real medical condition. They note that all of the previous research that has been done on chemo brain has used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine changes in the brain during chemotherapy. However, this method only allows radiologists to image changes in the brain’s appearance, which are usually very small. The PET/CT imaging allowed the investigators to see how chemotherapy affects changes in brain function over time.