Monday, April 16, 2012

NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback and "Chemo Brain"

As promised last week, this post is about the recently completed (2011) study of NeurOptimal® neurofeedback.

The study was done with cancer survivors with cognitive losses following chemotherapy – losses such as difficulty with memory, word finding, and multi-tasking. These side effects have been called chemo brain. Fatigue, sleep problems, depression and anxiety following chemotherapy are also common.

Unless it's happened to you or someone you're close to, you may not know about the possibility of these side effects – and that they may be lasting. Friend and colleague Jean Alvarez, who designed and conducted the study, has told me it may not be just the chemo that causes the side effects. They may be caused by the cancer itself or by the body's response to the cancer.

This study tested women who had been treated with chemo for breast cancer. Zengar's press release stated that the neurofeedback stabilized the cognitive degradation experienced during chemotherapy. Actually, it reversed the cognitive losses, post chemo.

That's even better. And, because it may not be the chemo causing the cognitive losses, those treated with radiation but not chemotherapy may also benefit.

I haven't worked with nearly as many people with chemo brain as Jean has; but with the clients I have had the results have been terrific – returning the clients to their original levels of functioning. It's wonderful to know how much neurofeedback can help with this – and with so much else.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

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