Restore Mental Well-Being Cognitive Thinking
Going through chemotherapy treatment can result in changes to the ability to think, learn and remember. This phenomenon is commonly known as “chemo brain”. Women with chemo brain often can't focus, remember things, multitask or think clearly or as fast as before their diagnosis.
In essence, chemotherapy can affect your cognitive-thinking skills. Cognitive thinking includes being aware of your surroundings, being able to pay attention, memory skills, reasoning, problem solving and executive skills such as goal setting, planning, initiating, being self-aware and self-monitoring and being about to evaluate. they did before their breast cancer treatment
There is no formal treatment protocol for chemo brain to enhance your cognitive thinking skills. So what is available to help restore your brain’s functioning capability?
Until the cause of chemo brain is better understood and medications or other types of interventions are available to help prevent or treat it, cognitive enhancement appears to be an effective solution. Otherwise known as “cognitive rehabilitation,” cognitive-enhancement programs can teach you how to improve your thinking capacity and brain functioning, such as improving memory, planning, organizing and word finding.
Cognitive-rehabilitation programs are structured programs that use exercises, tasks and puzzles to "rehabilitate" your mind. These programs typically are used for people with brain injuries, but therapists can tailor programs for breast cancer survivors that focus on restoring:
Cognitive-enhancement programs that are evidence-based -- stemming from scientific research -- emphasize individual style, teach how to apply techniques into daily life and are multidimensional (teach a variety of techniques) are most likely to be effective and have a positive impact.
- Attention Skills
- Executive Skills
- Memory Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Communication Skills
Multidimensional cognitive-rehabilitation programs tend to take a more holistic approach to cognitive enhancement by balancing improving thinking ability and improving psychological well-being. Under the leadership of someone trained in the area of brain-behavior relationships, cognitive-rehabilitation programs can teach you a variety of techniques and strategies to help maximize your cognitive-thinking capacity and regain brain functions that help you feel confident and “normal” again.
Another option is “brain fitness” computer-based programs, which are relatively new on the market. Still, cognitive-enhancement programs for breast cancer patients seem better suited for face-to-face interactions led by an experienced professional.
Luminosity, a brain-training program, features some engaging brain games and exercises developed by neuroscientists. Those who have used Luminosity's brain games reported experiencing clearer and quicker thinking, increased alertness and awareness, better concentration, enhanced mood and improved memory for names, numbers and directions.
Luminosity's scientific brain-training games focus on stimulating the mind in an interactive environment and easily fit into a daily 10-minute session. Luminosity's brain exercises claim to be fast, fun and an effective way to improve cognitive performance and brain health.
Books and several websites offer memory training, which may be helpful. Puzzles using numbers, such as Sudoku, may help "exercise" your brain. Fatigue can enhance cognitive problems, so getting enough sleep, incorporating exercise into your life, and eating a healthy diet may help improve your thinking ability.
Keeping the brain healthy and active is among the requirements for your physical and mental well-being and living a healthy lifestyle. It is important to keep your brain active to enhance your memory and your ability to think faster and overcome chemo brain.
Here are some resources that might help you better understand how to enhance your cognitive thinking:
Exercise your Brain
“Brain Fog”: Addressing the Cognitive
Changes Associated with Cancer
Brain Fog - I can't multitask anymore
Cognitive Problems after Chemotherapy
Combating Chemo Brain: Keeping your Memory Sharp
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
New program offers Cognitive Rehabilitation for Cancer patients
For more information on addressing memory loss, go to Breast Cancer Partner’s Resources. You can also share your knowledge and success with other survivors in our Partner Forum or at Survivor Tips.