Kevin Laubacher / Getty Images Complications May Occur Sooner or Later . Some chemo drugs cause long-term side effects, like heart or nerve damage or fertility problems. Even if cancer is not growing in the brain, it can still disrupt systems in the body that end up affecting mental function. Still, many people have no long-term problems from chemo. FRIDAY, Jan. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Many women who survive cancer have symptoms of chemotherapy-related nerve damage in their … In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Aarhus BSS […] Some treatment, including certain forms of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and immunotherapy, can also cause cognitive dysfunction, meaning they can directly or indirectly disrupt, damage or alter normal brain function. Written by Dena Schmidt (NaturalHealth365) Among the many side effects of chemotherapy, brain damage – including memory loss – can be the most disturbing result from treatment. The condition is commonly called “chemo brain” or “chemo fog”, even though chemotherapy is unlikely the sole cause of these cognitive problems. He said he was aware that chemo can and sometimes does effect the short term memory, and make you a little "fuzzy" while going thru treatment, but the brain receives very little of the Chemo. Neuropathy is nerve damage that can cause tingling, numbness, and other sensations, often in the feet and hands. It's unclear what causes chemo brain, says Dr. Asher. By Sadie Whitelocks 13:39 15 Nov 2011, updated 16:10 15 Nov 2011 "Chemo brain is not dementia. Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment (PCCI) (also known in the scientific community as "CRCIs or Chemotherapy-Related Cognitive Impairments" and in lay terms as chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction or impairment, chemo brain, or chemo fog) describes the cognitive impairment that can result from chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy can cause unpleasant side effects, although many can be treated or prevented, and most will pass once your treatment stops. Tiredness (fatigue) is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Another study was conducted on almost 200 female breast cancer patients that had chemotherapy 20 years ago. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are treatments that are used to remove or destroy cancer cells. Here's a list of many of the common side effects, but it's unlikely you'll have all of these. Some chemotherapy drugs can cause organ damage. Chemotherapy could cause brain damage in breast cancer patients scientists have warned. Chemo brain is the result of brain damage, much of which heals over time but some of which appears to persist for decades. What causes chemo brain? While side effects can be unpleasant, they must be weighed against the need to kill the cancer cells. Others, however, noted that the postmortem brain samples involved relatively few subjects, all of them young, and that the mice studies involved only methotrexate. Other forms of acquired brain injury. Damage to peripheral nerves by these drugs is called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, abbreviated as … Mouth sores are not only painful, but can also cause infection, which is serious when the patient is neutropenic. It's difficult to predict what side effects you'll get. Chemotherapy for breast cancer can cause reduced cognitive functioning ("chemo brain" or "chemobrain"). Can chemotherapy damage your brain? Chemotherapy causes damage to white matter, specifically axonal degeneration and demyelination, but also it is harmful for the grey matter. Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain can cause a range of symptoms, including motor weakness and behavioral problems. Tiredness . Chemo brain is often described as feelings of not remembering things, feeling vague or having trouble concentrating. The body has a natural defence that protects the brain…it's called the blood brain barrier. Some of the organs that may be affected by chemotherapy include the: heart; lungs; liver; kidneys; bladder; female reproductive system; male reproductive system; nervous system, including peripheral nerve damage; Some types of organ damage … Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves connecting the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body. A groundbreaking study discovered that breast cancer patients who had undergone the treatment – which uses medicine to kill cancerous cells – had significantly less activity in parts of the brain responsible for memory and planning compared to those who were not treated. Is this true?" Methotrexate chemotherapy was found to damage the brain's populations of oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Many things can cause neuropathy, including certain chemotherapy drugs. Normally, these cells can quickly divide … What follows is far from exhaustive, but gives an overview of some of the ways chemotherapy can damage the nervous system. The evidence is mixed. Researchers used … Methotrexate chemotherapy was found to damage the brain's populations of oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Neuropathy is a common side effect of chemotherapy… Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause long-term side effects to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Mental cloudiness after chemotherapy has been referred to as "chemo brain," and some chemotherapy drugs do affect the brain. The healthcare team takes steps to limit the damage to healthy cells, but organ damage can happen. This a an excellent question. A tumor or cancer cells in the brain can injure healthy cells and can cause cognitive changes. The findings show that there is a link between chemotherapy and changes in the structure of the human brain. "I have many patients who are struggling with these symptoms who've never had chemo." The effects of a traumatic brain injury can be wide ranging, and depend on a number of factors such as the type, location and severity of injury. Chemo brain is characterized by reduced verbal ability, impaired decision making, faulty short-term memory and other deficits. Even if cancer is not growing in the brain, it can still disrupt systems in the body that end up affecting mental function. I had a light battle with mouth sores. There are a number of different ways that chemotherapeutic agents can damage the nervous system. The drug, 5-fluorouracil (5-RU), destroys brain cells … Infections can attack nerve tissues and cause neuropathy. Chemotherapy's Damage To The Brain Detailed Date: April 22, 2008 Source: University of Rochester Medical Center Summary: A commonly used chemotherapy drug causes healthy brain … Ask your doctor if the chemo drugs you’re getting have long-term effects. Radiation therapy also can cause nerve damage, sometimes starting months or years later. Some reports link chemotherapy to cognitive changes ("chemo brain"), but these effects have not been studied well. MORE STORIES; Chemotherapy 'could cause brain damage' in breast cancer patients. There doesn't seem to be any one treatment or drug that impacts the likelihood of getting chemo brain. Some treatment, including certain forms of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and immunotherapy, can also cause cognitive dysfunction, meaning they can directly or indirectly disrupt, damage or alter normal brain function. This prevents most chemicals and drugs from entering the brain from the blood. Maybe: Radiation to the brain can affect brain function, but radiation directed to the chest or elsewhere should not affect the brain. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy may continue long after stopping chemotherapy. "It is clear that, in some patients, chemotherapy appears to trigger a degenerative condition in the central nervous system," lead researcher Mark Noble said. Only certain chemotherapy drugs cause neuropathy and not all people get it. These include: Hearing loss from high doses of chemotherapy, especially drugs like cisplatin (multiple brand names) Increased risk of stroke from high doses of radiation to the brain. Normally, these cells can quickly divide … A chemotherapy drug used to treat thousands of cancer patients may inflict serious brain damage with effects that are felt for years afterwards, new research suggests. A common chemotherapy drug may cause brain damage, with effects felt years after treatment. Mrs Donna Faulkner can chemo therapy cause mental illness or brain damage patient being taken to court by daughter cancer survivor 3x heart patient epilepsy PAD breathing/lung problems one kidney 63 years old divorced due to daughter break breakup (35 yrs married) Does having chemo brain increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease? I have read about the brain shield that protects the brain and that is why Chemo is not very effective for brain tumors. It can be caused by cancer or its treatment. Results from these studies have not been consistent in proving that chemotherapy can actually cause memory loss and permanent brain damage, and specialists argue that depression and anxiety, which may affect cancer patients and survivors, can also cause the same kind of mild memory loss and forgetfulness. These treatments can cause short-term, long-term, or delayed mental changes or cognitive problems. Doxorubicin can be toxic to the heart and cause heart damage which can appear years after treatment has ended 1. Doctors may call it mild cognitive impairment. The duration of chemo brain can vary from a few weeks to several years . Degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and dementia are usually treated symptomatically, … Even with extra proper oral care can these issues arise and be an ongoing problem. Chemo can damage the the entire mouth from the teeth to their roots and gums to mouth sores. ... Chemo Brain. A widely used chemotherapy drug causes damage to the brain that can last for years after treatment is completed, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester and published in the Journal of Biology. Submit a question; About iHeard; I've heard that chemotherapy can cause changes to the brain, such as 'chemo brain' and mental illness. However, they can also damage some of the surrounding healthy cells either by direct administration or by impacting the brain indirectly. Acquired brain injury covers all situations in which brain injury has occurred since birth, and includes traumatic brain injury as well as tumour, stroke, brain haemorrhage and encephalitis, to name a few. Chemo brain is most commonly connected with chemotherapy, but other treatments, such as hormone therapy, radiation, and surgery may be associated with it also. "Chemo brain is actually not a great term for this," says Dr. Asher. A variety of ... an infection can be treated with antibiotics and brain tumors can be surgically removed or treated with chemotherapy or radiation. However, it is a common issue that is a concern to those dealing with cancer … Some neurologists called it a “brilliant” and “exciting” advance in understanding the underlying neural mechanisms by which chemotherapy may cause so-called chemo fog or chemo brain. 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