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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivors suffer worse cognitive performance

06 Jun 2020
36% of very sick lymphoma patients showed no signs of disease six months after a single treatment of Kite's CAR-T therapy.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) seems to worsen cognitive performance in elderly adults, especially in the domains of attention, a recent study reveals.

The cross-sectional analysis included 63 outpatient long-term NHL survivors. Cognitive assessments were carried out using a battery of tests, including the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Trail Making Test, and Stroop color word interference test, among others. A parallel group of 61 non-cancer controls was also included.

There was substantial difference in the global cognitive performances between the NHL and control groups (adjusted mean scores, 27.66 vs 28.03). In addition, NHL survivors also fared worse in terms of abstract reasoning and verbal episodic memory (immediate and delayed recall and recognition).

Survivors likewise showed poorer executive function than their non-cancer counterparts. The NHL group was significantly more likely to take longer to complete the Stroop test, relative to the non-cancer controls (adjusted odds ratio [OR] for time in the top 75th percentile, 2.63, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.04–6.61).

The same was true for the multiple features target cancellation test. NHL survivors were more likely to complete the test in the top 75th percentile of time (adjusted OR, 2.84, 95 percent CI, 1.10–7.31).

“Further studies from larger samples may provide evidence to support our findings and to better characterize cognitive decline in such population,” the researchers said. “Comprehensive geriatric assessment for older cancer survivors is advisable to identify those individuals who are at highest risk of developing disability and to implement tailored early interventions.”

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