Researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center are embarking on a study to gauge if exercise can prevent memory and cognitive problems experienced by many cancer survivors after chemotherapy. The study is being funded by a foundation established by well-known cancer survivor and athlete, Lance Armstrong.
Charles Matthews, Ph.D., and Laurel Brown, Ph.D., in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, will lead a team of researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram as they seek to evaluate the benefits of exercise if any on ''chemo brain'' or chemo fog. ''A substantial
number of cancer survivors who receive chemotherapy report mild to moderate cognitive impairment that persists following treatment. These impairments have been reported across a range of cancer types and chemotherapy agents,'' said Brown. The study will be for duration of six months and participants will have to visit the Vanderbilt University Medical Center around three times. They will be placed into either a walking exercise group or a control group. Any person aged 18 or older who has had a regimen of chemotherapy in the last 5 years and has experienced memory problems can participate in the study. ''A wealth of research now indicates that exercise participation preserves cognition function as we age. In addition, sedentary older adults without cancer who completed six months of exercise have been shown to improve their cognitive function. We want to see if exercise might help cancer survivors in the same way,'' said Matthews, adding that this study was the first of its kind.
Contact: Heather L. Hall
Vanderbilt University Medical Center