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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter August 2, 2022

A neurotherapy protocol to remediate cognitive deficits after adjuvant chemotherapy: a pilot study

Stephen Sideroff EMAIL logo , David Wellisch and Valerie Yarema

Abstract

Adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer is undeniably effective in increasing survival rates but many breast cancer survivors (BCS) exhibit side effects including nausea, fatigue, stress, and neurocognitive deficits, known as “chemobrain.”

Objectives

This pilot study explored how neurotherapy, or EEG biofeedback, a non-pharmacological approach, improved neurocognitive, behavioral, and neurophysiological deficits associated with BCS who underwent chemotherapy.

Methods

Subjects underwent 18 sessions of EEG biofeedback training, in which audio and visual feedback occurred with successful shifting of EEG patterns.

Results

Quantitative EEG and assessment tests demonstrated neurophysiological, cognitive, and behavioral deficits in all nine subjects prior to training. EEG biofeedback resulted in significant improvements in neurophysiological, neurocognitive, and psychological functions in all nine subjects after training.

Conclusions

We propose that this intervention and related forms of EEG biofeedback have the potential to significantly alleviate common side effects of chemotherapy in BCS and therefore merits additional research attention.


Corresponding author: Dr. Stephen Sideroff, Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, 1245 16th Street, Suite 210, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA 90404, USA, Phone: 310-828-1113, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: The authors have no conflicts of interest and no funding sources to report.

  4. Compliance with ethical standards: All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all subjects.

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Received: 2021-11-28
Accepted: 2022-06-20
Published Online: 2022-08-02

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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