Integrating imaging findings in evaluating the post-chemotherapy brain

K. L. Pomykala, M. B. de Ruiter, S. Deprez, B. C. McDonald, D. H.S. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations


Cognitive complaints following cancer and cancer therapy are common. Many studies have investigated the effects of chemotherapy on the brain. However, the mechanisms for the associated cognitive impairment are not well understood. Some studies have also included brain imaging to investigate potential neurological substrates of cognitive changes. This review examines recent neuroimaging studies on cancer- and chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction in non-central nervous system cancers and compares findings across imaging modalities. Grey matter volume reductions and decreases in white matter integrity are seen after exposure to adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, and functional studies have illuminated both hypo- and hyperactivations in many of the same regions months to years following therapy. These comparisons can assist in further characterizing the dysfunction reported by patients and contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-452
Number of pages17
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Chemotherapy
  • Cognitive complaints
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Neurology

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