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Cognitive training improves executive function in breast cancer survivors
Date:5/14/2013

Women whose breast cancer had been treated with chemotherapy demonstrated improved executive function, such as cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency and processing speed after using exercises developed by Lumosity, the leading online cognitive training program. The study also found significant improvement in self-reported measures of everyday executive function and observed some transfer to verbal memory. Researchers at Stanford University published the results in the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Breast Cancer. Dr. Shelli Kesler, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University is the lead author of the study.

Studies have found that chemotherapy causes changes in brain structure and function. The most common effects of the cognitive impairment associated with cancer treatment include memory, processing speed and attention. Up to 75 percent of women who have undergone chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment experience long-term cognitive deficits that significantly reduce quality of life.

"The most common quality-of-life complaint from breast cancer survivors is the cognitive effect of cancer treatments," said Joe Hardy, Ph.D, VP of Research & Development at Lumosity. "These results are interesting because they suggest that online cognitive training shows promise as an intervention for cognitive difficulties in breast cancer survivors, and even long-term survivors can benefit."

The study included 41 breast cancer survivors who were randomly assigned to the active treatment group (n=21) and a 12-week waitlist (n= 20). Study participants had a history of stages 1-3 breast cancer and treatment, a minimum age of 40, and were at least 18 months post-chemotherapy to allow for neural stabilization. They completed a session of five exercises four times a week for 12 weeks, with each session lasting about 20-30 minutes. Training tasks included switching, mental rotation, working memory, spatial seque
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Contact: Erica Perng
erica@lumoslabs.com
415-704-4533
Lumosity
Source:Eurekalert

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