Instead of studying chemotherapy's effect on the brain's appearance, [Dr. Rachel A. Lagos] and colleagues set out to identify its effect on brain function. By using PET/CT, they were able to assess changes to the brain's metabolism after chemotherapy.
"When we looked at the results, we were surprised at how obvious the changes were," Dr. Lagos said. "Chemo brain phenomenon is more than a feeling. It is not depression. It is a change in brain function observable on PET/CT brain imaging."
A personal note: Hell yes it's real. I have experienced profound damage in my ability to concentrate, remember names and experiences and tasks, and... wait what were we talking about? Also typos. I make more typos. No, seriously, chemobrain is one of the most upsetting parts of cancer treatment. Getting used to a damaged body is one thing; realizing your very mind has changed is another.
But for those about to experience it, here's the thing: you adapt. You get through it. You will function differently, but you will function. Let my posts here on Boing Boing, typos and all, be your proof.
(thanks, Jody Schoger)
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.