Neurobiological basis of chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment: a review of rodent research

Riejanne Seigers, Joanna E. Fardell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

223 Citations (Scopus)


For some cancer survivors chemotherapy treatment is associated with lasting cognitive impairment, long after treatment cessation. Several candidate mechanisms have been suggested, yet clinical research has been unable to clearly tease apart these hypotheses. Rodent research has allowed a systematic study of these underlying mechanisms in the absence of potential patient confounds. Herein, this research is reviewed with emphasis on the role of the blood-brain barrier, neurogenesis, oxidative stress, white matter, immune system/(neuro) inflammation, HPA axis, blood flow, and cancer in chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment. Furthermore, potential pharmacotherapy and behavioral intervention strategies are reviewed. This paper ends with methodological considerations in study of chemotherapy and cognition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-741
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • animal model
  • chemotherapy
  • cytostatics
  • behavior
  • neurobiology
  • intervention strategies
  • learning
  • memory
  • cognition


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