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Insights Into Cancer – April 9, 2019

Countering Chemobrain

Presented by Linda M. Ercoli, PhD

About the Lecture

Cognitive complaints are common both during and after cancer treatments. Many cancer patients exposed to a variety of cancer therapies complain of decreased cognitive efficiency that has often been attributed to chemotherapy. This syndrome of cognitive complaints and difficulties is called Cancer Related Cognitive Impairment or CRCI (colloquially named ‘chemo brain’ or ‘chemo fog’). For a subset of cancer survivors, these complaints are persistent and result in difficulties that interfere with their everyday activities. For some, the difficulties are disabling. Also presented is an update on potential causes of CRCI and the latest research on strategies and interventions to counter cancer-related cognitive dysfunction.


Linda M. Ercoli, PhD, is a Health Sciences Clinical Professor and the Director of Geriatric Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Semel Institute. She is a clinical psychologist with expertise in neuropsychology, aging, and cognitive remediation. Her research activities involve studying the use of neuropsychological tests in conjunction with brain imaging for the early detection and prediction of dementia. Dr. Ercoli has also been active in developing cognitive enhancement intervention programs for older adults with CRCI, age-related cognitive decline and mild cognitive disorders.

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