Most individuals are aware that melanoma therapies can damage psychological function like making the patient feel obscure or become to forget things.  What most individuals do not realize is that these intellectual disabilities are aspect of a very real condition called radiation therapy mind. In fact, in some individuals radiation therapy produces lengthy lasting intellectual incapacity and scientists still do not know why.

Until recently, it was generally considered that the melanoma triggered the intellectual incapacity, but now many scientists believe it’s caused by medication – specifically the radiation therapy medication. Current analysis is testing animals to prove that medication cause the incapacity and that the right mixture of medication containing antioxidants can prevent memory loss.

What is Chemo Brain?

Chemo mind is any number or combination of intellectual adverse reactions which may occur during melanoma therapy. Most commonly, radiation therapy mind involves negligence and poor organization.  It is often described as a psychological fog and can last provided that two decades. Many sufferers are unable to concentrate, even for short time periods.  In more serious situations of radiation therapy mind, sufferers may ignore common words or lose their ability to expertly execute tasks which they used to execute well.

Even though radiation therapy mind is defined as “mild” intellectual incapacity, it can still affect the lives of individuals dealing with it.  Patients may not be able to work, can ignore appointments, or have difficulties with simple multi-tasking – like talking on the phone while writing a note.  Chemo mind can be dangerous if sufferers incorrectly take medicines or if they make hazardous mistakes like forgetting to turn off the stove.

In most situations, the warning signs of radiation therapy mind diminish after melanoma therapy is ceased.  However, in approximately 20% of situations, radiation therapy mind lasts even well after the melanoma therapies have ceased. One area of analysis is analyzing whether the medication that suppress the growth of melanoma cells are also suppressing the functioning of healthier non-diseased nerves.

What Causes Chemo Brain?

Some experts currently believe that radiation therapy mind is solely due to radiation therapy as opposed to the melanoma. Up to 75% of sufferers surviving radiation therapy will have radiation therapy mind signs. However, scientists are still studying whether there are likely numerous other possible causes of radiation therapy mind, including the melanoma itself (as has been considered for many years) and other melanoma therapies besides radiation therapy. In studies of radiation therapy mind, scientists were surprised to find that sufferers had intellectual activities 20-30% lower than expected before they experienced radiation therapy.

It is very difficult to study the causes of radiation therapy mind because almost all melanoma sufferers go through complex multimodality therapies. Additionally, the pressure of dealing with melanoma could also outcome in radiation therapy mind.  Other adverse reactions of melanoma and its therapy, like insomnia, lack of nutrition, infection, and hormonal changes, among other signs, could also factor into radiation therapy mind signs.

Not all melanoma sufferers will experience radiation therapy mind.  New analysis from Dartmouth Medical School shows that certain sufferers may have a genetic temperament to radiation therapy mind.  The same gene which is associated with Alzheimer’s may increase the risk of radiation therapy mind.  However, this analysis is still in its infancy.

Treatments for Chemo Brain

There is no set strategy to radiation therapy mind which isn’t surprising considering physicians still do not agree on the cause. However, the warning signs of radiation therapy mind can be controlled or reduced using certain methods or medicines. If you have problems with psychological fuzziness or fog, it’s essential to take steps to relieve the problem as much as possible. Foremost, sufferers can first eliminate any factors which may contribute to radiation therapy mind signs, such as by:

  •     Getting enough sleep
  •     Eating a normal and balanced diet
  •     Exercising (if approved by doctor)
  •     Using stress-coping techniques
  •     Healing depression

Patients are also encouraged to adapt their lifestyles to deal with radiation therapy mind signs. This can include:

  •     Maintaining a frequent schedule
  •     Getting organized, such as by continuing to keep a daily planner or other reminder system
  •     Taking frequent breaks
  •     Doing intellectual exercises, such as crossword puzzles

It is essential that melanoma sufferers tell their physicians if they are experiencing warning signs of radiation therapy mind.  Many sufferers simply assume that the signs are aspect of their therapy and there is nothing that can be done.  However, in some situations, there may be medicines which can relieve radiation therapy mind signs.  Some medicines used for the ADHD, Alzheimer’s, and insomnia may be helpful for radiation therapy mind. Alternative therapies such as ginkgo and Vitamin E may also help improve warning signs of radiation therapy mind.