Mental training program helps ease chemobrain in breast cancer

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A new program developed by UCLA researchers may ease post-treatment cognitive difficulties, better known as “chemo brain”, in patients with breast cancer, according to a study published in Psycho-Oncology.

In a randomized clinical trial, researchers led by Patricia Ganz, MD, built upon prior research that found a connection between neuro-psychological test performance and memory complaints in women being treated for early-stage breast cancer.

“We invited the women to participate in a research study that assigned them to early or delayed treatment with a five-week, two-hour group training session, where a psychologist taught them strategies to help them with their memory and maintaining their ability to pay attention to things,” Dr. Ganz said.

All the women who enrolled completed questions about their mood and mental functioning in follow-up testing.

Ganz and her fellow researchers found that women in the early intervention group reported improvements in memory complaints and test functioning, while those in the delayed group did not improve in either category.

“We hope that this might be an effective biologic way to assess the cognitive effects of cancer treatment in the future.”

Mental training program helps ease chemobrain
A new program developed by UCLA researchers may ease post-treatment “chemo brain” in patients with breast cancer.
UCLA researchers have developed a program that could improve the day-to-day lives of women with breast cancer by addressing post-treatment cognitive difficulties, sometimes known as "chemo brain," which can affect up to 35 percent of women after their treatments.
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