How Two MS Drugs Can Help Combat 'Chemo Brain' For Those Who Have Had Cancer Treatments

People who need to undergo chemotherapy to treat cancer often experience a side effect referred to as 'chemo brain,' which is a general term used to describe the cognitive impairment, such as thinking and memory problems, that can result from cancer treatments (via The National Cancer Institute). There is no one definitive cause of chemo brain, but it is thought to be the result of the cancer treatments themselves, as well as the stress of dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Fortunately, a new study suggests that two drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) may be able to combat the effects of chemo brain (via Medical News Today). The drugs, called fingolimod and ozanimod, work by blocking pathways in the brain that cause inflammation during and after cancer treatments, which can lead to the cognitive issues of chemo brain. While more studies are needed to confirm that these drugs can be an effective treatment for some cancer patients, the science looks promising and there are plans to move forward with research.

Other side effects of chemotherapy

Chemo brain is only one of many potential side effects of chemotherapy treatments. Other side effects include fatigue, pain, nausea, and vomiting (via NHS). Patients may have a hard time keeping food down and may lose weight as a result. Chemotherapy can also cause hair loss, which can be a very difficult side effect for patients to cope with. Some patients may also experience skin changes, such as dryness, rashes, and peeling. These side effects can be very difficult for patients to deal with both physically and emotionally.

It is important for patients to be aware of all the potential side effects of chemotherapy so that they can be prepared mentally and emotionally. It is also important for patients to have a support system in place to help them cope with the side effects. Chemotherapy can be a very difficult journey, but with the right support, patients can get through it.