Research shows breast cancer drug impairs brain function

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-26 18:31:06|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- A comprehensive study of monkeys given the breast cancer drug letrozole has revealed side effects that impact the brain, according to new research published recently in JNeurosci, an official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.

The research established the common marmoset as an important nonhuman primate model for studying the effects of estrogen-reducing treatments on the nervous system.

Letrozole is used to prevent breast cancer recurrence by interfering with the production of estrogens. Although side effects such as mood disturbances and memory issues have been reported in both humans and animals, little is known about how the drug impacts the brain.

The research team, led by Nicole Gervais, professor at the University of Toronto, administered letrozole to male and female marmosets via pudding for four weeks. The team observed many of the same behavioral changes, including hot flashes and increased anxiety, experienced by women receiving similar treatment.

Letrozole also compromised the function of neurons in the hippocampus and impaired spatial memory, according to the journal.

These findings emphasized the need for further investigation of breast cancer treatments and their effects on the brain, said the journal.