There's no clear definition of chemo brain, so no tests exist to diagnose this condition. Cancer survivors who experience these symptoms often score in normal ranges on memory tests.
Your doctor may recommend blood tests, brain scans or other tests to rule out other causes of memory problems. But if no apparent cause can be found for your symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a specialist who can help you cope with memory changes.
Feb. 02, 2013
- Asher A. Cognitive dysfunction among cancer survivors. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2011;90(suppl):S16.
- Phillips KM, et al. Cognitive functioning after cancer treatment. Cancer. 2012;118:1925.
- Myers JS. Chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment: The breast cancer experience. Oncology Nursing Forum. 2012;39:E31.
- Fardell JE, et al. Chemotherapy and cognitive impairment: Treatment options. Nature Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2011;90:366.
- Improving your concentration: Three key steps. CancerCare. http://www.cancercare.org/publications/71-improving_your_concentration_three_key_steps. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Combating chemobrain: Keeping your memory sharp. CancerCare. http://www.cancercare.org/publications/70-combating_chemobrain_keeping_your_memory_sharp. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Cognitive problems. Cancer.Net. http://www.cancer.net/all-about-cancer/treating-cancer/managing-side-effects/cognitive-problems. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Ginkgo. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Jan. 3, 2013.
- Vitamin E. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Jan. 3, 2013.
- DeVita VT Jr, et al. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg's Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008:2751.
- Ganz PA. Cancer Survivorship: Today and Tomorrow. New York, N.Y.: Springer; 2007:59.
- Feuerstein M. Handbook of Cancer Survivorship. New York, N.Y.: Springer; 2007:287.
- Chang G, et al. Mental status changes after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Cancer. 2009;115:4625.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 5, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.