The specific cause is unknown, but experts say up to 70-percent of chemotherapy patients suffer chemo brain, a condition greatly reducing ability to think clearly. Now, researchers may finally have a remedy.
Doing crossword puzzles, Melissa Canaday was struggling to remember words while also straining to locate once familiar streets in Manhattan. After breast cancer struck, Melissa was suffering from chemo brain, which drains thinking and memory skills.
"People's names, I'd look at my kids and I'd be like ... couldn't come up with their name. Couldn't come up with any name," said Canaday.
The company Posit Science developed a program named Brain HQ. It offers cognitive exercises done by computer that restore mental skills, some using images while participants also respond to written or audio prompts. Studies, like that of New York University Professor Jerry Voelbel, show exercises have achieved the first chemo brain reversal.
"We're making more or stronger neuro connections within the brain to make our brain more efficient to do everyday activities," said Voelbel.
Exercises are done for one hour, three times weekly, 40 times total. Melissa said they worked wonders after just a few sessions.
"I was constantly second guessing myself. Now I'm confident. If I'm going somewhere I know how to get there," said Canaday.
And crosswords are fun again, now that she's no longer searching for the words.
Studies show those brain exercises also help patients suffering significant head injuries, as well as the elderly.
If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.
Researchers may have remedy for chemo brain
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