Treating verbal memory deficits following chemotherapy for breast cancer in elderly women

Project: Research project

Project Details


Background statement: More than 60% of all cancers occur in individuals age 65 and older. At least 20% of women who undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer experience cognitive dysfunction during and after treatment. Increased survival of breast cancer has engendered increased awareness of this dysfunction. However, there is little research on treatments for these cognitive deficits, particularly for mature women. Aims / objectives: The primary purpose of this study is to test the effects of a targeted, computerized cognitive training program on verbal memory in older women who are within a year of having undergone chemotherapy treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Hypothesis: As measured by neuropsychological assessment, this treatment will result in improved verbal memory. Secondarily, processing speed and naming abilities are expected to improve. Enhanced self-perception of cognitive ability is also expected. Methods: In this pilot randomized control trial, 10 older participants (age 65-84) will be randomized to a treatment group and will be compared to a non-treatment group. Following pre-treatment testing, the intervention will take place in 1-hour sessions, 3 times per week, for 12 weeks. Post-treatment testing will occur at the end of 12 weeks and again one month later to evaluate durability of training effects.
Effective start/end date9/1/158/31/17


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH09102015 Exhibit B.8)


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