Saturday, December 19, 2015

indfulness-based stress reduction diminishes chemo brain

Public Release: 7-Dec-2015
Regenstrief and IU study: Mindfulness-based stress reduction diminishes chemo brain
Indiana University

Participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program yields robust and sustained improvement in cancer-related cognitive impairment, a prevalent and potentially debilitating condition that affects attention, memory and executive function in survivors, according to a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine.

Although cancer-related cognitive impairment, sometimes referred to as chemo brain or post-cancer cognitive fuzziness, is common among survivors -- disrupting social relationships, work ability, self-confidence, and quality of life -- clinicians have few treatment options to offer. Cognitive deficits have been seen to persist for more than a decade following cancer treatment for many survivors.


Retention rates in the trial exceeded 95 percent, strongly suggesting that participants found the program to be worthwhile. Previous studies by the Regenstrief-IU research group have found MBSR to have a positive impact on post-cancer fatigue, depression and sleep disturbance.

Mindfulness training is thought to improve cognitive functioning through mechanisms of focused attention and non-reactive coping with one's internal experiences, such as thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Programs in MBSR include a variety of meditation and yoga practices and other elements. These programs typically range in cost between $200 and $800 for an eight-week program, and are widely available in communities and over the Internet.


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