NEW YORK, July 28 (UPI) -- Hormone deprivation therapy, a commonly used treatment for prostate cancer, may have subtle adverse effects on cognition in patients, U.S. researchers said.
Dr. Christian Nelson, a psychologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and colleagues, conducted a systematic review in animals and humans. However, only a handful of relatively small studies have investigated the impact of androgen depletion on cognitive functioning, and some reported contradictory results.
Nelson's team found that testosterone and its derivatives may impact cognition via several mechanisms in the brain. For example, testosterone can modulate brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and stimulate the connections between neurons. Also, studies that have examined the impact of androgen depletion therapy in prostate cancer patients indicate that between 47 percent and 69 percent of men being treated decline in at least one cognitive area, most commonly in processes dependent on spatial ability and in high-order capacities such as the ability to multitask.
The review, published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer, indicates that clinicians and patients should be aware of these potential effects -- to recall and concentrate -- and watch closely for their appearance.