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Cancer treatment and cancer as risk factors for neurocognitive impairment

Prof Kaarin Anstey, Dr Nicolas Cherbuin, Prof Perminder Sachdev,
Research Centre DCRC Early Diagnosis and Prevention
Partner Institution ANU
Project Description

There is increasing evidence that chemotherapy is associated with complaints of cognitive deficits and poorer performance on cognitive testing.

However the association between chemotherapy and cognition has been difficult to prove due to the confounding of disability, pain, cancer diagnosis and depression.

Recently, there has been publication of results from cohort studies reporting the association between cancer, cancer treatment and cognitive deficits and dementia. At this stage there is no consensus on the true effects of cancer and its treatment on cognitive function due to the many methodological factors that need to be considered and lack of data synthesis.

There are two parts to this project.

First a systematic review of the literature on cancer treatments as a risk factor for neurocognitive impairment will be conducted, plus a review of the link between cancer and risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Second, an analysis of the PATH Through Life dataset will be undertaken to evaluate whether cancer is a risk factor for progression from normal ageing to MCI.

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