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Children exposed to #cancer_treatment such as chemotherapy are likely to have decreased cognitive flexibility and a weaker short-term memory, researchers say.
The results show that cognitive functions which are slow developing or mature during adolescence -- in particular short-term Memory -- are very vulnerable to the chemotherapy treatment.
However, cognitive functions such as long-term memory and the ability to concentrate remain largely unaffected as they develop before the treatment.
"Tests that require quick switching between tasks or remembering new information for a short amount of time were clearly more difficult for former cancer patients. The developmental stage of the brain at the start of the Cancer Treatment probably plays a decisive role," Rudi D'Hooge, Professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium.
For the study, the team examined 31 young adults who underwent chemotherapy as a child, on average around the age of six and a half.