Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemobrain Treatment? Potential Remedy For The 'Mental Fog' In Cancer Patients

Date:
September 7, 2008
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Cancer patients have complained for years about the mental fog known as chemobrain. Now in animal studies, researchers have discovered that injections of N-acetyl cysteine, an antioxidant, can prevent the memory loss that breast cancer chemotherapy drugs sometimes induce.

Cancer patients have complained for years about the mental fog known as chemobrain. Now in animal studies at West Virginia University (WVU), researchers have discovered that injections of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, can prevent the memory loss that breast cancer chemotherapy drugs sometimes induce.

In the WVU researchers’ study, rats were given the commonly used chemotherapy drugs adriamycin and cyclophosphamide. When on the drugs, rats who were trained to prefer a light room to a dark room forgot their training.

“When animals are treated with chemotherapy drugs, they lose memory,” said Gregory Konat, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology and anatomy at WVU. “When we add NAC during treatment, they don’t lose memory.”

Chosen for its antioxidant properties, NAC is a modified form of the dietary amino acid cysteine.

Jame Abraham, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, said as “chemobrain” entered the national lexicon, many patients expressed frustration about doctors not taking the complaints seriously.

“In the past, there was a lot of ignorance among doctors about chemo-induced cognitive problems,” Dr. Abraham said. “In some patients, problems can persist for up to two years.”

The WVU authors say as many as 40 percent of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy complain of symptoms such as severe memory and attention deficits. Previously, scientists suspected the cancer, rather than chemo drugs, might be the cause.

Earlier this year, Dr. Abraham’s team of researchers used MRI scans to document the extent of changes to the brain in women who received chemotherapy for breast cancer. Now the connection between drugs and memory loss is clear, and a potential remedy is suggested as well.

“At this point, we have no evidence to say that NAC is safe in patients who are getting chemotherapy,” Abraham said. “We need more studies to confirm the role of NAC in patients.”

In addition to the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, researchers from WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry collaborated on the study.

The study was funded as part of a $275,000 grant over three years from the U.S. Department of Defense. Abraham is principle investigator on the studies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Konat et al. Cognitive dysfunction induced by chronic administration of common cancer chemotherapeutics in rats. Metabolic Brain Disease, 2008; 23 (3): 325 DOI: 10.1007/s11011-008-9100-y

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Chemobrain Treatment? Potential Remedy For The 'Mental Fog' In Cancer Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904102806.htm>.
Springer. (2008, September 7). Chemobrain Treatment? Potential Remedy For The 'Mental Fog' In Cancer Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904102806.htm
Springer. "Chemobrain Treatment? Potential Remedy For The 'Mental Fog' In Cancer Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904102806.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Might Not Be Out Of Control In U.S., But Coverage Is

Ebola Might Not Be Out Of Control In U.S., But Coverage Is

Newsy (Oct. 2, 2014) Coverage of the lone Ebola patient discovered in Texas has U.S. media in a frenzy — but does the coverage match the reality? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Hunts Contacts of Ebola Patient, Including Children

US Hunts Contacts of Ebola Patient, Including Children

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) Health officials in Texas on Wednesday scoured the Dallas area for people, including schoolchildren, who came in contact with a Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Losing Sense Of Smell Can Indicate Death

Study Says Losing Sense Of Smell Can Indicate Death

Newsy (Oct. 2, 2014) Researchers found elderly adults with a poor sense of smell are more likely to die within five years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins