Computer programs help chemo brain?


Question from CMac: My question is about a computer program developed by CogniFit entitled "MindFit Back-On-Track," specifically for breast cancer survivors who are experiencing "chemo fog." Have you heard of this and would something like this be helpful? Thanks!
Answers - Christina Meyers I have heard of it, and it isn't helpful, and it is expensive. Mental stimulation is good, because all of us — breast cancer survivors or not — develop cognitive function if stimulated. But these types of programs don't generalize. You could do Nintendo or crossword puzzles, but to think it will generalize or undo an injury that may have been caused, say, by cancer treatment, just isn't true. What happens is that when you practice a thing like that, you get better at it but it doesn't stop you from blocking on words in conversation or eliminate the other symptoms of chemo brain. So you can pay a lot of money for CogniFit, or just do the crossword in your local paper, and you will get better at either, but it won't cross over into other aspects of your life. If you enjoy it, fine. But to think it will undo an injury is not correct.
George Sledge, M.D. It's important to add that in addition to mental stimulation, physical stimulation is good as well. Literature says that patients who exercise tend to have better mental activity as well. This is especially important for breast cancer survivors, where exercise may cause better outcome for patients.
Christina Meyers Exercise benefits the cardiovascular system and everything else as well.

On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Managing Chemo Brain. Christina Meyers, Ph.D., A.B.P.P. and George Sledge, M.D. answered your questions about how long chemo brain can last, what treatments can be helpful, and current research on cognitive effects of breast cancer treatment.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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