Cognitive issues caused by PSNSL and its treatment
and how to deal with them.
This page lists some of the cognitive, and motor skill issues that PCNSL and its treatment can cause. The Brain controls just about everything we are and do. It receives input from your senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell) and processes that input into our reality and allows us to interact with that reality. Sometimes tumors can cause serious and profound problems with our perception and reactions to the world around us.
Short term memory:
Short term memory is often a significant issue to be dealt with when dealing with PCNSL. Chemotherapy often compounds these issues. The good news is that with a little patience, time, good diet and psychical well being and effort in many cases you can recover your short term memory. It helps to keep your mind as active as possible on challenging activities and games like crosswords, Sudoku, chess, connect four, scrabble, battleship, and dominoes. There are several places offering “Brain Games” just do a Google search for “Brain Games”. Scientific American tested several “brain training” programs and games. In general anything that causes you to “work” your mind will help (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=brain-trainings-unproven-hyp )
On the higher end of brain retraining are programs offered by Posit Science http://www.positscience.com/ Their mission is to apply breakthroughs in brain research to enhance human performance and to promote brain health. Their goal is to be the leading provider of scientifically validated brain health programs"
They offer three primary products:
Brain Fitness The original Brain Fitness Program software speeds up and sharpens the auditory system of the brain for faster thinking, sharper focus, and better memory."Brain Fitness" The original Brain Fitness Program software speeds up and sharpens the auditory system of the brain. faster thinking, sharper focus, and better memory. $197.50
2. Visual: InSight
InSight does for the visual system of the brain what the Brain Fitness Program does for the auditory system. It improves how your brain takes in, reacts to, and remembers what you see. $197.50
Posit Sciences offers a bundle package that includes both the auditory "Brain fitness" and the visual "Insight" programs for $345.00
3. Brain HQ
Online Brain training tools. that allow you to train your brain any time anywhere $99.00 per year
There programs have been reviewed by many independent sources with favorable results (See the results of the "IMPACT" study by The Mayo Clinic and The University of Southern California on YouTube).
From my personal experience the "Brain Fitness" program WORKS! it is the most scientifically based and clinically proved method to improve cognitive skills! Family and friends we able to see my improvement!
Newcomer LUMOSITY offers online brain fitness games $81.00 a Year at http://www.lumosity.com/
you can find many other brain improvement offerings by doing a Goggle search for "Brain fitness" "brain training"
Newcomer Lumosity at htttp://www.lumosity.com/ offers a similar product at a slightly lower price. You could purchase them both for under $200 and benefit from the small nuances between them. You will defiantly come out of any of the brain training options with a brighter, sharper, clearer mind.
There are also a wealth of computer based tutorial programs available in core subjects like mathematics, english, and the sciences. these range in intended audience from grade school to college level. If you've found you took a significant cognitive hit in any of your core skills these self paced tutorials may be an option for you.
Yoga and Meditation have proven useful in relaxing and clearing the stress, confusion, and angst out of your mind allowing you focus more clearly.
There are several self-hypnosis programs available as well. Having had some professional hypnotherapy as part of my recovery from a poisonous marriage I believe when properly performed by a professional there may be beneficial results as well but beware of scams ask for credentials. I am tempted to try this route again someday. I do believe it has real possibilities. I’ll let you know how it works if I get the chance to try this approach.
Other issues that could be caused by a brain tumor or the treatment protocol:
Numbness and/or weakness, and Visual Distortion
Can be caused by the disease or treatment interfering with communication between the corresponding senses and processing systems.
Uncontrolled motor movements:
Sometimes signals to the voluntary muscles get scrambled or misdirected causing involuntary or uncontrolled muscle movements,
Unusual or Inappropriate actions or behaviors:
Can be caused by tumors in the areas our higher functions such as mood, emotions, self-control, morals, and inhibition’s reside.
Many of the issues discussed on this page are often a result of a tumor affecting the brain some can be caused as a side effect of the chemotherapy and/or painkillers. Once the tumor is gone and the these issues should lessen or resolve completely.
During my journey I suffered severe memory issues ( I couldn't’t find my way around my own home) as well as visual distortions caused by the tumor affecting my ability to process and comprehend just what I seeing.
I’ve suffered neuropathy (loss of feeling/numbness) in my toes and fingers as a result of one of my chemotherapy agents (Vinchristine). The neuropathy cleared after several months, I can say that with the right tools, time, and effort you can regain most if not all of your “original” self back. Nowadays when someone comments on how sharp my mind is I Reply “I’m like Avis car rentals… I try harder”.
Nowadays I go by the adage “Use it or loose it”
An interesting new line of ongoing research: Brain elasticity and Neuroplasticity:
Neuroplasticity is a non-specific neuroscience term referring to the ability of the brain and nervous system in all species to change structurally and functionally as a result of input from the environment. Plasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes involved in learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical re mapping in response to injury. The most widely recognized forms of plasticity are learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage. During most of the 20th century, the general consensus among neuroscientists was that brain structure is relatively immutable after a critical period during early childhood. This belief has been challenged by new findings, revealing that many aspects of the brain remain plastic even into adulthood
The brain is a truly amazing organ in not only all the different things it normally handles on a day to day basis but also what its capable of doing that we don’t experience every day. We’ve all heard about people who have recovered from severe brain trauma. Some of these people who may show deficits in some areas and yet are mostly the same person they were when all is said and done. Sometimes something amazing happens that super-activates some center in the brain and a savant is the result. I personally know of an young boy who was bicycling without a helmet and suffered severe brain trauma. As a young adult he seems like anyone else but he has some unusual musical abilities, He can learn to play most any musical instrument well within a week and can repeat a piece of music after hearing it once.
You may have some cognitive issues today but I believe that in the future you will find that you will have overcome or adapted to most of them and be able to enjoy each and every day as fully as possible.