- Question from TWave: How can you identify the difference between chemo brain and Alzheimer's disease?
- Answers - Christina Meyers That's easy! It's totally different. If a person has Alzheimer's disease, they have rapid forgetting of information. Earlier I referred to learning a list of 12 words. People with chemo brain and Alzheimer's may remember the same number of words, but later the person with Alzheimer's will remember 0 and the person with chemo brain will remember all of them. So a person with chemo brain has problems with memory retrieval. If someone is worried about having Alzheimer's disease, they don't have it! People with Alzheimer's aren't aware.
- George Sledge, M.D. Personally, I find that very reassuring!
- Christina Meyers With chemo brain, nothing is lost from memory, it's just not retrieved efficiently. We all have that tip-of-the-tongue thing — trying to remember something like the name of an actor in a movie. For people with chemo brain, the information will come back to them later — they don't forget it. That's the difference.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Chemo Brain featured Christina Meyers, Ph.D., A.B.P.P. and George Sledge, M.D. answering your questions about how long chemo brain can last, what treatments can be helpful, and current research on cognitive effects of breast cancer treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2008.
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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