More research needed to clarify cause and extent of impairment, say USC psychologists
Cancer survivors are twice as likely to develop cognitive problems as individuals who have never been treated for cancer, according to an article in the June 1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Previous research has raised concerns about a possible link among cancer, cancer therapies and cognitive dysfunction. This study found that long-term cancer survivors were at increased risk of cognitive impairment. An accompanying editorial urged a cautious interpretation of the results pending further research.
In the study, USC psychologists studied 702 cancer survivors and their cancer-free twins in the Swedish Twin Registry. Studying twins removes statistical influences from genetic or early childhood causes of both cancer and cognitive deficits. Working with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute and Gothenberg University in Sweden, the researchers evaluated the survivors through a standardized mental status interview.
Carl Marziali | EurekAlert!
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