Chemo effect on brain cells pinpointed; potential link to autism -- ScienceDaily

UNC School of Medicine researchers have found for the first time a
biochemical mechanism that could be a cause of "chemo brain" -- the
neurological side effects such as memory loss, confusion, difficulty
thinking, and trouble concentrating that many cancer patients experience
while on chemotherapy to treat tumors in other parts of the body.The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
shows how the common chemotherapy drug topotecan can drastically
suppress the expression of Topoisomerase-1, a gene that triggers the
creation of proteins essential for normal brain function. Specifically,
the drug tamps down the proteins that are necessary for neurons to
communicate through synapses. However, the researchers found that the
protein levels and synaptic communication return to normal when the drug
is removed.

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