Cognitive decline is prevalent in 70 percent of chemotherapy patients, leading to depression and fatigue. Researchers have found that using InsightTM, an online platform of cognitive exercises, can help cancer survivors regain perceived cognitive function over a 15-week period.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest cognitive intervention study that has shown a benefit for patients who are reporting persistent cognitive symptoms following chemotherapy," said study author Victoria J. Bray, MD, Medical Oncologist and PhD candidate at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. "However, it is equally important to address other symptoms that may be associated with cognitive impairment, such as depression."
The study included 242 cancer patients who had received chemotherapy up to 60 months before the study and had reports negative cognitive symptoms. All patients were contacted via telephone for 30 minutes personalized consultations on tip for coping with cognitive problems. The participants were split into a control group receiving standard cancer care and a group that received the InsightTM treatment.
Results for the InsightTM group after 15-week and 6-month mark showed an increase in cognition, lower rates of anxiety, depression, fatigue and stress. At 6 months’ patients experienced n increase in quality of life. While these results are positive, researchers believe a longer follow-up is needed to measure the long term effects of the program.
"Cognitive rehabilitation should be a core part of cancer survivorship care, as cognitive symptoms are very common and have a profound effect on people's lives,” said Bray. “This study points to a simple tool that may help alleviate mild cognitive problems."