One of the most frustrating side-effects of cancer treatment is the impairment of memory and though processing known informally as 'chemo brain'. New research with breast cancer patients has provided additional proof of the biological basis of the cognitive defects seen in cancer patients. The study compared neural activity of breast cancer patients who had or had not received chemotherapy with normal controls.
Changes were seen in the activity levels of several different areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex and premotor cortex. The results seen in this population will need to be verified in other patients. The identification of specific areas affected by chemotherapy opens the door to possible treatments for 'chemo brain'.