Thank you so much for having this site! I have had chemobrain for a good five years now. At first I thought it was due to the various medications, other than they have changed mine so many times, I don't think that is it. You would think by meeting me, that I was ADHD. I tried taking a Spanish class to stimulate my mind, talk about a big disaster!! I studied my heart out, but I could not retain one stupid phrase. I want to know exactly what treatments are out there, is there anything at all that can help? Hypnosis, is that anything that might help? Chemobrain really affects my job and frustrates not only me, but my boss as well. It is affecting my marriage. I keep pad and paper and takes notes as best I can. I can tell my thought process isn't right and something has affected part of my brain. I "dream" things up and don't have a clue where they come from. I use to never forget a birthday, last year, I forgot my own. This is really affecting my relationships both personal and professional. This is a daily frustration and I am really interested in anything that will help and guidance on where to go to get help. I am surprised at how much this "phenomenon" is discounted as nothing. I love my oncologist, but he really discounts this concern and it is a big deal to me. So I would also like to know how to teach him to help me as well as what treatments might work. Thank you so very much. psmf
We generally advise patients with chemobrain to have a full neuropsychological evaluation to determine the person's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. We then address the issues uncovered, sometimes with medications, sometimes with referral to our Management and Intervention for Neurocognitive Dysfunction (MIND) clinic, sometimes with referrals to other services (e.g., sleep lab, psychiatry). Bottom line - there are a lot of things that can be done to minimize the impact of chemobrain on the person's daily function.
The mechanisms that give rise to chemobrain are currently unknown, but we are studying several leads including an inflammatory response, hormonal causes, and autoimmune causes, as well as possible genetic vulnerability in some people. We also don't know if it causes permanent damage, but we suspect that would be a rare occurrence. Some drugs can cross the blood-brain-barrier directly, others may cause the induction of secondary messengers that cause the problem. It is a very big area of scientific research right now.
Christina Meyers, Ph.D.
Posted: 09 Aug 2006 09:50 AM Originally Posted: 09 Aug 2006 09:51 AM