Chemo brain or chemo fog are the memory and thinking problems experienced by cancer survivors are not just the result of chemotherapy but may start as the tumor forms and develops before chemo was used according to a new study published in the journal Neuroscience. Researchers found that female mice with a form of breast cancer demonstrat4ed impaired performance on learning and memory tests before chemotherapy drugs were used., They said “Our work isolated that the cancer is responsible for some of the memory and thinking complaints experienced by cancer survivors, and that drug therapy adds to the problem.” “Both factors independently effect brain function in different ways, which can lead to the development of other psychological disturbances, such as anxiety and depression.” Researchers said as many as 65on. taking longer to complete tasks, and difficulty multitasking.
Progression of tumor and later chemotherapy lead researchers to the identification of three different brain changes. 1)The combination of tumor growth and chemotherapy led to shrinkage of . While the tumor is developing, the body’s immune system releases cytokines to inhibit the cancer development. Researchers found this reaction caused in the brains nervous system impairing its function. 2) Chemotherapy limited the production of new brain cells in the regions responsible for memory function which lead to a loss of memory. 3) The combination of tumor growth and chemotherapy lead to shrinkage in brain regions that are important for learning and memory.
the study involved female mice, half with cancer and the other half without. Learning and memory tests were administered initially to determine the the impact of the tumor on the brain. After this mice were either given chemo or a saline solution (control). .Tests were again administered plus some additional ones. After testing was completed researchers brain images, tissue, and blood samples were used to analyze changes in brain structure and cytokinase activity mentioned earlier Before treatment mice with tumors performed less well on memory and learning tests than mice without tumors. After chemotherapy the performance of cancerous mice worsened, and the non-cancerous mice also showed sign’s of deterioration Further research is planned..