Navigation Links
Rutgers neuroscientist sheds light on cause for 'chemo brain'
Date:2/21/2013

It's not unusual for cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy to complain about not being able to think clearly, connect thoughts or concentrate on daily tasks. The complaint often referred to as chemo-brain is common. The scientific cause, however, has been difficult to pinpoint.

New research by Rutgers University behavioral neuroscientist Tracey Shors offers clues for this fog-like condition, medically known as chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment. In a featured article published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, Shors and her colleagues argue that prolonged chemotherapy decreases the development of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis, and disrupts ongoing brain rhythms in the part of the brain responsible for making new memories. Both, she says, are affected by learning and in some cases are necessary for learning to occur.

"One of the things that these brain rhythms do is to connect information across brain regions," says Shors, Professor II in the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers. "We are starting to have a better understanding of how these natural rhythms are used in the process of communication and how they change with experience."

Working in the Shors laboratory, postdoctoral fellow Miriam S. Nokia from the Department of Psychology at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland and Rutgers neuroscience graduate student Megan Anderson treated rats with a chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ) used on individuals with either malignant brain tumors or skin cancer to stop rapidly dividing cells that have gone out of control and resulted in cancer.

In this study, scientists found that the production of new healthy brain cells treated with the TMZ was reduced in the hippocampus by 34 percent after being caught in the crossfire of the drug's potency. The cell loss, coupled with the interference in brain rhythms, resulted in the animal being unable to learn difficult tasks.

Shors says the rats had great difficulty learning to associate stimulus events if there was a time gap between the activities but could learn simple task if the stimuli were not separated in time. Interestingly, she says, the drug did not disrupt the memories that were already present when the treatment began.

For cancer patients undergoing long-term chemotherapy this could mean that although they are able to do simple everyday tasks, they find it difficult to do more complicated activities like processing long strings of numbers, remembering recent conversations, following instructions and setting priorities. Studies indicate that while most cancer patients experience short-term memory loss and disordered thinking, about 15 percent of cancer patients suffer more long-lasting cognitive problems as a result of the chemotherapy treatment.

"Chemotherapy is an especially difficult time as patients are learning how to manage their treatment options while still engaging in and appreciating life. The disruptions in brain rhythms and neurogenesis during treatment may explain some of the cognitive problems that can occur during this time. The good news is that these effects are probably not long-lasting," says Shors.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robin Lally
rlally@ur.rutgers.edu
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Rutgers professor recognized for revolutionizing agriculture
2. President Obama selects Rutgers cell biologist Nihal Altan-Bonnet to receive prestigious award
3. Rutgers study: Anxiety disorders in poor moms likely to result from poverty, not mental illness
4. Rutgers leads effort to replicate care management programs in 4 U.S. cities
5. Children with asthma marginalized in movies, says Rutgers-Camden researcher
6. Rutgers team discovers novel approach to stimulate immune cells
7. Johns Hopkins neuroscientists win National Academy of Science Awards
8. Neuroscientists find excessive protein synthesis linked to autistic-like behaviors
9. John Templeton Foundation grant supports Princeton neuroscientists to study cognitive control
10. Mouse menopause model sheds light on UTIs in post-menopausal women
11. Immunology research sheds new light on cell function, response
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... Data Management Solution Providers list for its expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has ... to serve the technology needs of global clients. DDi provides smarter technology for ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... organization devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community ... hosted over 250 members of South Florida’s philanthropic community at its 10th anniversary ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with ... Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic ... The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO Kenneth Fisher ... Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare ... System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, and will provide ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... serving families of the Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest ... help children develop social skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Feb. 12, 2016  SI-BONE, Inc., ... Implant System ® ("iFuse"), a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device ... announced that National Government Services, Inc. (NGS), the Medicare Administrative Contractor ... Illinois , Maine , ... Hampshire , New York , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... SEOUL, South Korea , Feb. 12, 2016 ... today announced they will form a partnership to ... medicine in cancer. The goal of the collaboration ... with Macrogen,s high-throughput Next Generation Sequencing capabilities toward ... Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 by the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today ... million Series D preferred stock financing, co-led ... Capital Group and venBio Global Strategic Fund, ... IB Investment, and Epidarex Capital. The proceeds of ... advance clinical trials in the Company,s ongoing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: