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Possible Help for Chemobrain

Posted 12/27/2013

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  Happy the 27th of December. I am heaving a deep sigh of relief to have Christmas a few days behind me, hope that you are, too. My visiting family has departed, leaving behind a mountain of sheets and towels and a house that looks as though a bomb went off somewhere near the play room. But all is well, and I am moving towards a regular routine.

  Being able to think clearly is one important part of my regular routine, and I am always on the outlook for useful articles about chemobrain. During the months of chemotherapy, I surely felt ill and tired and not my sharpest, but I didn't and haven't experienced the kind of chronic mental malaise that haunts many of us. 

  This is an article from CureToday that includes some potentially practical and helpful tips.

Finding Solutions for Chemobrain
Cognitive issues related to cancer treatment might finally have some answers.

by Kathy LaTour

Cognitive impairment, chemobrain, chemo fog, cognitive dysfunction. Different words, same
outcome: frustrated patients with muddled minds and frustrated clinicians with no answers. Diane
Von Ah, assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Indiana University in Indianapolis, became
interested in treatment- related cognitive impairment while working as a clinical nurse in the bone
marrow transplantation field. For an article in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, she detailed
the cognitive processes affected by this malady: attention and concentration, executive function,
information processing speed, language, visual-spatial skill, psychomotor ability, learning, and
Von Ah interviewed survivors of breast cancer as part of her doctoral dissertation, and reports they
all said the same things: “I can’t remember. I am so frustrated when I can’t say what I want to.
Forgive me for being so slow, but I have chemobrain. In social situations, I can’t remember people’s
names. And, I can’t remember where I put things.”
What Von Ah recalls vividly from her interviews was the frequently repeated word frustration. She was also affected by the impact that cognitive impairment had on survivors’ lives and self esteem, which she believes has been overlooked by the medical community.
Early retirement, anger, depression and few solutions. Pharmacologic approaches have had spotty success because of the variety ofcauses of the disorder and medication side effects, leaving survivors with few options. Until now.


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