Chemotherapy Related Cognitive Impairment In The Rat
Boyette Davis, Jessica
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Treatment for cancer has been indicated to negatively impact the quality of life for patients. Specifically, chemotherapy has been associated with fatigue, nausea, and peripheral neuropathy. More recently, chemotherapy has also been found to be related to cognitive impairment in various cognitive domains including working memory, information processing speed, and visual attention. At this time, the mechanisms underlying this impairment are not understood and there is currently no treatment for this condition. The purpose of this study was to model chemotherapy related cognitive impairments using an established test of attention in rats. While receiving the chemotherapeutic agent Taxol, animals were tested daily in the Five Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5CSRTT), a task which requires animals to attend and respond to a visually presented stimulus in order to obtain reinforcement. In addition, animals were tested for the development of peripheral neuropathy and alterations in IL-6 and IL-1β cytokine levels. The results indicate that Taxol treated animals developed mechanical sensitivity, but did not exhibit alterations in cytokine levels or cognitive impairments in the 5CSRTT. It is imperative to better understand chemotherapy related cognitive impairments, but at this time more work is needed to elucidate the causes of these decrements.