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Investigation of a neuropsychological screen for chemo-fog

Lea Ann Ouimet, Angela Stewart, Barbara Collins, Dwayne Schindler, Catherine Bielajew
  • Angela Stewart
    Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, Ottawa, Canada
  • Barbara Collins
    Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus, Canada
  • Dwayne Schindler
    School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Catherine Bielajew
    School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Canada


Research on chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (the term ‘‘chemo-fog’’ is used by many investigators) supports the occurrence of subtle declines in function for a subset of recipients. Identification of vulnerable individuals via comprehensive neuropsychological batteries is complicated due to their lack of clinical utility and increased risk of misclassification. The goal of this paper was to evaluate the ability of a reduced battery to detect chemotherapy-related cognitive impairments. Data from our previous study (Ouimet et al. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 31:73–89, 2009) were used to compare a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery comprising 23 tests with a reduced battery consisting of a subset of nine tests. A standardized regression-based approach revealed that a comparable numbers of participants were identified by both batteries, suggesting that individuals vulnerable to chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment can be identified by a more selective battery. Further work is needed to clarify the neuropsychological tests most sensitive to detecting impairments associated with chemotherapy so that assessment batteries can be limited to these tests.


Breast cancer - Chemotherapy - Cognitive impairment - Neuropsychological assessment - Misdiagnosis

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Submitted: 2011-12-05 09:17:14
Published: 2011-11-30 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2011 Lea Ann Ouimet, Angela Stewart, Barbara Collins, Dwayne Schindler, Catherine Bielajew

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