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Assessment and Treatment of Cognitive Deficits in Breast Cancer

Shelli Kesler at Stanford University
Study abstract

The goals of the proposed research are to 1) define the specific cognitive deficits associated with BC and chemotherapy using comprehensive, ecologically valid neuropsychological assessment, 2) elucidate the neurobiologic states underlying
cognitive impairments in women with BC using advanced neuroimaging techniques, 3) identify demographic, medical and genetic factors associated with cognitive outcome in
BC and 4) test the efficacy of two innovative treatment methods – one for improving existing cognitive impairments and the other for preventing cognitive impairments. The proposed research will implement highly innovative methods including measurement of
hippocampal neural stem cells, using neurofeedback as a preventative treatment method and evaluating a combination of genetic variants believed to influence cognitive

Results of this project will provide prognostic information regarding and treatment options for cognitive effects of BC, will address the lack of treatment methods for cognitive impairments in general by providing a new model of cognitive rehabilitation,
and will increase our understanding of neural injury, recovery and repair. Additionally, cancer in general affects millions of individuals – males and females of all age groups, socioeconomic strata and ethnicities. Therefore, results from this project may have broad applications by providing direction for studies of cognitive effects in other cancers and conditions treated with chemotherapy.

Study review

This study at Stanford University is investigating the brain function problems associated with breast cancer and its treatment. The researchers were looking to enroll at least 180 volunteers. The Call to Action for this study was sent to Army of Women members on April 16, 2009. The researchers were able to close enrollment on May 4, 2009, after the Army of Women provided them with 1,341 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.

Research Webinar:
Cognitive and Emotional Effects of Breast Cancer Study

Resulting Publications: