, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 364-371

Cognitive effects of cytotoxic cancer chemotherapy: Predisposing risk factors and potential treatments

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Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that systemic cancer chemotherapy can have significant long-term effects on cognition, particularly on verbal learning, memory, attention, and speed of information processing. These deficits can be a source of significant distress to survivors. There is much less known about the mechanisms, predisposing vulnerabilities, and treatment of these deficits. We will summarize current knowledge of chemotherapy-associated cognitive deficits. Emerging theories about the role of selected genetic polymorphisms in heightening the vulnerability to chemotherapy-induced cognitive decline will be described.