Identify and Cure Chemobrain in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Survivors
Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia cancer patients are living longer. This is great news. It is important to understand however, that toxic chemotherapy helping patients live longer causes collateral damage aka short, long-term and late stage side effects.
Damage to a cancer patient’s brain, heart and muscles and other major organs are probable. I should know.
The issue is not the toxic therapies that oncologists use to treat cancer. The issue is to identify possible collateral damage caused by those aggressive therapies and heal this damage.
I can’t say that my chemobrain is completely healed. After all, I continue to age like everyone else. What I can say is that the “cognitive training” cited in the study below works. And this training is a lot easier, more fun and cheaper than other therapies I undergo to heal other long-term and late stage side effects.
BrainHQ gets it. Brain games (cognitive training) are posted in my computer’s inbox five days a week. I spend 15-20 minutes daily playing games that boost the problems caused by toxic chemotherapy. BrainHQ keeps track of everything so I can see how I’m doing.
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Methotrexate exposure impacts cognitive processes cancer survivors need to multitask
“Investigators also reported that brain imaging showed that higher blood levels of methotrexate during treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were associated with anatomical and functional changes in regions of the brain involved with mental flexibility, planning, reasoning and other skills related to executive functioning…
“This study is the first to show a clear dose-response effect between methotrexate concentrations in the blood during treatment and executive functioning in survivors…
Higher concentrations of methotrexate and homocysteine were associated with lower scores on measures of executive function, including mental flexibility, verbal fluency, working memory and processing speed…
“While physicians may look for opportunities to reduce concentrations of the drug in the future, interventions are already in development to enhance executive function in patients on therapy as well as long-term childhood cancer survivors.”
For example, Krull is principal investigator of a pilot study into whether electrical stimulation of the prefrontal cortex combined with cognitive training will enhance executive function in adult survivors of childhood leukemia.”
“Over the last 50 years, the survival rates in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have increased remarkably. The optimal use of antileukemic agents in cooperative group protocols, central nervous system-directed treatment, improvements in supportive care, and recognition of biological, clinical, and treatment response characteristics that predict patients with a higher or a lower risk of treatment failure have improved 5-year event-free survival rates, reaching more than 85%, and 5-year overall survival rates, reaching more than 90%.
Consequently, it has become increasingly important to characterize the occurrence of long-term late effects. ALL treatments have been associated with increased risks for adverse outcomes such as:
- late mortality,
- secondary malignancies,
- and neurological,
- and social/psychological disorders.
In recent decades, cooperative groups in Europe and in the United States have provided essential information about the long-term effects of ALL therapy, giving recommendations for screening as well as facilitating new approaches for reducing late-term morbidity and mortality.
Current frontline protocols continue to examine ways to lower the intensity and amount of therapy to reduce late effects, whereas survivorship studies attempt to predict such adverse effects precisely and develop targeted prevention and treatment strategies…”
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