Antidepressants to treat chemo brain?


Question from Tyka: I believe that in my case, my chemo brain was the result of clinical depression. A 3-4 month course of an SSRI fixed my brain chemistry and I could once again think straight and form a complete and coherent sentence, a valuable asset to have back again in my line of work as a paralegal. Have there been studies involving the use of antidepressants to treat chemo brain?
Answers - Christina Meyers Again, that's the differential diagnosis that Dr. Sledge referred to. If treating the depression is the best thing to do, then it's probably going to work.
George Sledge, M.D. I still think it's a great question, and I don't know the answer. If we have a population of patients who are not clinically depressed, and we treat them with an SSRI, does it have an effect?
Christina Meyers I don't think that study has been done, but if I thought depression was not a contributing factor I would treat the symptom with a stimulant as opposed to an antidepressant. But that's just me; that's not data.

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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