In a nutshell
This study evaluated the cognitive (mental abilities) function of long-term survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). The data showed that long-term survivors of HL with inactive employment status and older age showed impaired cognitive function.
HL is a cancer that involves the lymphatic system and affects how the body’s immune system works. Patients with HL are commonly treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
Cognitive dysfunction is a common side effect experienced by HL patients during and after chemotherapy. Cognitive dysfunction can include lapse in memory and attention, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. However, there are few studies evaluating cognitive function in long-term survivors of HL.
Methods & findings
This study involved 118 patients who were diagnosed with HL from 1969 to 2013. At the time of HL diagnosis, the patients' average age was 29. The cognitive function of the patients was evaluated by a series of computerized neuropsychological (CANTAB) questionnaires. The questionnaires measured visual memory, attention, working memory, and planning function.
Overall, 52% of the patients showed cognitive impairment. 35% of the patients showed impaired attention. Working memory and planning were impaired in 25% of the patients. Visual memory was affected in 22% of the patients.
Visual memory, working memory and planning, higher age at diagnosis of HL or the completion of CANTAB test, and inactive employment status were all closely linked with impaired cognitive function.
The bottom line
This study concluded that long-term survivors of HL with inactive employment status and older age showed impaired cognitive function. The authors suggest that their cognitive function and quality of life can be improved if they return to work or, if not possible, they receive cognitive training.
The fine print
This study only included patients from Hungary. This study lacked a healthy control population. This study did not include neuropsychiatric and neuroimaging tests before diagnosis and treatment.
Published By :
Supportive care in cancer: official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Mar 11, 2022