An important new study on cancer-related cognitive impairment—often called “chemobrain”—was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In the study, cancer survivors were able to reverse symptoms of cognitive impairment at home by adding computerized brain exercises to their standard care. Study participants who used the brain exercises reported less cognitive impairment, stress, fatigue, and anxiety/depression immediately after training and six months later. This is the first time a study has shown a practical intervention to be effective against cancer-related cognitive impairment.
For detailed information about this study, see the FAQ.
What brain exercises did the study participants use?
The brain exercises used in the study were five visual training exercises currently available in BrainHQ: Visual Sweeps, Hawk Eye, Double Decision, Target Tracker, and Eye for Detail. These exercises engage the brain's visual system (located in the occipital lobe) to improve visual processing and memory.
Each exercise trains specific functions of the visual system that are important to cognitive performance. For example, Target Tracker exercises the areas of divided attention, sustained attention, and working memory. To get a sense of what one of these visual brain exercises are like, you can watch a short video showing Target Tracker.
What is BrainHQ?
BrainHQ is an online brain-training system built by Posit Science and provided by its Canadian partner DynamicBrain in English in Canada (www.dynamicbrain.brainhq.com) and in French globally (www.dynamicbrain-fr.brainhq.com). It features 29 exercises that work out attention, memory, brain speed, intelligence, navigation, and people skills. The five visual exercises in the chemobrain study are among these exercises. More than 100 papers have been published in scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, on the BrainHQ exercises and assessments.