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Oncology (Williston Park). 2000 Jan;14(1):75-9; discussion 79, 81-2, 85.

Neurocognitive dysfunction in cancer patients.

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Department of Neuro-Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.


Many cancer patients experience impairments of neurocognitive function, including memory loss, distractibility, difficulty in performing multiple tasks (multitasking), and a myriad of other symptoms. Patients may also concurrently suffer from mood disturbance and symptoms that compromise their ability to function adequately, including fatigue and pain. The etiologies of these problems are diverse and include the direct effects of cancer within the central nervous system (CNS), indirect effects of certain cancers (e.g., paraneoplastic brain disorders), and both diffuse and highly specific effects of cancer treatments on the brain. In addition to these cancer-related causes, patients may have coexisting neurologic or psychiatric disorders that affect their cognition and mood. Careful assessment of patients complaining of neurocognitive or behavioral problems is essential to providing appropriate interventions and maximizing their ability to carry out usual activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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