Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Just like they often do in response to the numerous health problems brought about by things like Morgellons Disease and the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix, doctors commonly deny that the cognitive problems reported by breast cancer patients following chemotherapy are in any way related to the toxic treatment. But a new study published in the journal Archives of Neurology suggests otherwise, as it points to clear evidence of what is known as “chemo brain,” or brain damage caused by chemotherapy.
Shelli Kesler from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California evaluated 25 breast cancer patients that had been treated with chemotherapy, 19 breast cancer patients that had surgery, and 18 healthy women, as part of her study. All the women were instructed to solve various problems and complete a variety of tasks. They also filled out questionnaires about their perceived cognitive abilities.
During the process, researchers monitored the women’s brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and discovered that those in the chemotherapy group had reduced cognitive ability in three key areas of the brain’s prefrontal cortex — two of the areas were associated with working memory, cognitive control, and monitoring, while the other was associated with executive function, or the area where planning activities take place in the brain.
“This is a huge validation for these women who are telling their doctors ‘something is wrong with me’,” Kesler is quoted as saying by Reuters Health. “This shows that when a patient reports she is struggling with these types of problems, there’s a good chance there has been a brain change.”