HOPA 2018 | How can chemotherapy contribute to cognitive impairment?

Ginah Nightingale

There is increasing evidence to suggest that chemotherapy contributes to changes in cognition. In this interview, Ginah Nightingale, PharmD, BCOP, of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, describes the pathways through which chemotherapy may contribute to deficits in cognition in patients. This interview was recorded at the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Conference, held in Denver, CO.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Did talk a little bit about some of the pathways in which chemotherapy can cause impairment in terms of cognition.

Some of the effects could be direct: you have direct increase in inflammation that affects the central nervous system. There are pro-inflammatory cytokines that are released and that would be one of the mechanisms that can actually cause a decrease in neurogenesis and a decrease in catecholamine release, and that subsequently causes an effect in terms of patients having reduced memory capacity as well as reduced ability to perform executive function, that would be some high complex areas that are focusing on attention, concentration, organization and planning.

So those are some of the proposed mechanisms that actually can lead to cognitive impairment.

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21st March 2018