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How Chemo Affects Cognition

Pilot study to examine impact of breast cancer treatment on daily skills

(HealthDay is the new name for HealthScoutNews.)

THURSDAY, Aug. 21, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Mississippi State University (MSU) researchers are conducting a study to determine how chemotherapy affects the cognitive abilities of women treated for breast cancer.

Over the next year, the MSU researchers will study a group of about 100 women. Half of them will have had chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer while the other half will not.

The women's cognitive performance will be measured using a series of standardized instruments including a test of driving-related abilities called Useful Field of View (UFOV).

The researchers decided to study women with breast cancer because of the consistency in regimens for chemotherapy.

Research has shown chemotherapy can cause lasting cognitive deficits, but it's unclear whether those deficits are associated with problems in daily functioning. Age may also be a factor in those cognitive deficits.

Because driving is a common everyday task, the MSU researchers decided to use UFOV to determine if the cognitive skills required to drive are affected by chemotherapy.

They say this pilot study is just one step toward understanding the long-term effects of chemotherapy.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about chemotherapy.

SOURCE: Mississippi State University, news release, August 2003
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