Neuropsychological disorders in non-central nervous system cancer: a review of objective cognitive impairment, depression, and related rehabilitation options

Fulvia Di Iulio, Luca Cravello, Jacob Shofany, Stefano Paolucci, Carlo Caltagirone, Giovanni Morone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: The objective of the present review was to systematically characterize the types of cognitive impairment that are found in different non-brain types of cancer as measured by objective and validated tests, and also to further examine depression and cognitive function in cancer patients and explore their available rehabilitation treatments. Results: A total of 29 articles were reviewed. Most of these studies suggest that chemotherapy as well as the combination of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy can influence cognition in different types of cancer patients. Breast cancer patients appear to be the most affected in neuropsychological function, specifically in terms of cognitive impairment and reduced quality of life, as compared to other non-brain solid tumours. Overall, the most impaired functions were verbal ability, memory, executive function, and motor speed. Conclusion: Chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction remains under-recognized and undertreated. The various studies reported differing and non-homogenous findings with mixed results, obtained by self-reporting and web-assisted assessment, with other confounding factors such as age and depression during both cancer diagnosis and treatment. An objective neuropsychological assessment is fundamental to avoid underestimation of the extent of chemobrain. Self-reported and web-assisted assessment may ultimately result in confusion between the neuropsychological signs of chemobrain versus those of depression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Chemobrain
  • Depression
  • Neuropsychological disorders
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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