Long Term Effect of Radiation on Brain Function

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Last Modified: September 18, 2013

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Question

Does the impact of radiation get worse over years of survivorship (I am a 10yr survivor) - memory loss seems bad, but does impact of it & scar tissue change over time?

Robert Lustig, MD, Pediatric & Adult Radiation Oncologist at Penn Medicine, responds:

Answer

Long term effects of radiation on the brain may progress over time. Neurocognitive rehab may be useful as well as some of the medications used in treatment of other memory problems.