In the past, clinical studies reported that older women who underwent chemotherapy as part of breast cancer treatment had a risk of suffering cognitive impairment (reduced brain function that reduces one's ability to think, remember things, reason, concentrate, react to emotions or solve problems).
However, a study done by researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Centre ruled out any significantly increased risk of getting cognitive impairment for at least 16 years after undergoing chemotherapy. The study involved data on more than 62,565 women aged between 65 and above who were diagnosed with breast cancer.
All the women did not have cognitive impairment at the time they were diagnosed with breast cancer and when some of them were exposed to drug-induced dementia with chemotherapy. Findings showed that their risk of getting cognitive impairment was only 8%.
At the end of the study, data from the study suggested that the women who received chemotherapy were 23-28% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, or other dementias than women not treated with chemotherapy.
Compiled by Elizabeth Namazzi