Chemo Brain

Last Modified: November 30, 2009


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have had problems paying attention and remembering things. I have heard the term "chemobrain", but I dont know what to do about it. Some people say it is real. Some people say it is not. Anyway, I have sure felt it. Any recommendations on things that can help?


Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

Chemobrain is absolutely real! Studies have found conflicting results, but ask any survivor and they will tell you it is real. I have a few good references for you:

An article called Living with ChemoBrain and a book dealing with the topic called Your Brain After Chemo.

There is not a whole lot of research into chemobrain yet, but I expect to see much more in the coming years. Researchers are looking at cognitive rehab programs, which were traditionally used for stroke patients, brain “exercise”, medications and more.

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