Cancer patients who receive chemotherapy often report memory loss and feelings of anxiety and depression. Studies suggest that such adverse effects are mediated by the neurotoxic effects of the drugs.
Dr. Melanie Sekeres, Canada Research Chair in Contribution of Neurocognitive Functioning to Brain Health, is investigating the neural mechanisms underlying chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients and pre-clinical mouse models. She and her research team are trying to determine how lifestyle factors, such as exercise or chronic stress, may influence the development of negative effects from chemotherapy. Their research will shed light on how to promote recovery from chemotherapy treatment.