Neuroplasticity-Based Cognitive Remediation for Chemotherapy-Related Cognitive Impairment

2020-01-20 11:34:02 | BioPortfolio


The investigators propose to apply neuroplasticity-based computerized cognitive remediation (nCCR) to treat chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI).


Advances in cancer treatment are producing a growing number of cancer survivors; therefore, issues surrounding quality of life during and following cancer treatment have become increasingly important. Chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) is one such quality of life issue that is commonly reported following chemotherapy treatment in adults. Although studies reporting cognitive impairments associated with chemotherapy have been reported since the 1980s, the phenomenon commonly referred to as 'chemo brain' or 'chemo fog' is poorly understood, and for some patients becomes the most distressful survivorship issue faced. Studies suggest that while up to up to 75% exhibit cognitive decline during treatment, many patients will return to their pre-chemo level of functioning 1 year after completing treatment. However, for 30-35% of cancer patients, their cognitive issues persist.

Studies suggest that this persistent chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (pCRCI) can remain for months to years after completing treatment, which may have implications for the trajectory of how both normal cognitive aging occurs, but also the risk of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, for the growing number of long-term cancer survivors. These concerns are particularly relevant for older individuals as risk for not only cancer, but cognitive impairment (such as dementia) increases with age. As of January 2016, 62% of cancer survivors (9.61 million) are currently 65 years or older, and this number is expected to increase dramatically over the coming decades. Therefore, as the number of older cancer survivors who have will have to cope with pCRCI is likely to increase, it is crucial that The investigators understand the cognitive impairments, the impact on survivors' functioning, and develop treatments for pCRCI.

The investigators propose to target cognitive deficit in CRCI using a novel cognitive enhancement strategy. Our choice of cognitive focus is informed by clinical, behavioral and neurobiological data suggesting a reliable association between cognitive control deficits (CCD), damage to the cognitive control network (CCN), and decline in cognitive functioning. The CCN is a neural network that supports important cognitive control functions such as alerting and orienting attention, response selection, cognitive flexibility, strategy generation, and inhibition of prepotent responses. The investigators propose to apply neuroplasticity-based computerized cognitive remediation (nCCR) to the treatment of CRCI as it has demonstrated training and transfer effects of enhanced CCN function in a similar, abnormally aging population. The theory guiding neuroplasticity-based cognitive interventions is that network abnormalities associated with negative disease-specific clinical outcomes can be altered through the induction of neuroplasticity (even in the aging brain) resulting in enhanced functioning of the target network, and symptomatic improvements.

Study Design


Cancer Survivors


Neuroplasticity-based Computerized Cognitive Remediation


Vanderbilt University Medical Center
United States




Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2020-01-20T11:34:02-0500

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