If you have this personal history of cancer and chemo- or radiation-therapy, or know someone or are treating someone who has lived it, you might seriously consider enrolling (them) in a serious “brain fitness program”. That is ESPECIALLY the case if memory or other cognitive losses have been noted after either chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Posit Science is now supporting a study that is designed to document improvements in cognitive function resulting from its “brain fitness training” strategy (see www.brainhq.com) in chemotherapy-treated breast cancer survivors. While initial findings in this population are very encouraging, we’ll know more when this study is completed. On that date, results shall immediately appear in abbreviated form on this blog!

Two more thoughts, for today: 

  1. We all know that there are many other causes of the diffuse brain damage. Radiation therapy for cancer (even though it is designed to bombard only limited brain regions), changes in brain oxygenation in bypass and open-heart surgery, brain infections (e.g., HIV, Lyme’s Disease, et al.), concussions and other causes of diffuse traumatic brain injury are all on this list. It is very likely that the cognitive losses arising from all of these conditions shall put an individual on a faster track for the emergence of dementia. Again, if you, a loved one, or someone that you are trying to help has this kind of history, get thee (them) to the “brain fitness center”!
  2. Scientists sometimes describe the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease as if its origins are foreordained by your genetics, or by the Creator of the Universe. In fact, there is a rapidly growing body of evidence that now shows that your physical brain can be changed in a protective direction at any age, if you engage it with appropriate intensity, and in the right way.

Just as an even larger body of evidence shows that if the brain is variously abused, it can be expected to get into trouble a lot sooner in life than would otherwise be the case!