Cognitive impairment following hormone therapy: current opinion of research in breast and prostate cancer patients

Hormone therapy is a common cancer treatment that may be associated with numerous side and late effects, and in recent years, has been linked to changes in cognition. Here, we present the most important recent findings from empirical studies and reviews that have focused on the effects of hormone therapy on cognitive functioning in breast and prostate cancer populations, underline some general shortcomings, and propose directions for future research.

Recent research indicates that cognitive impairment may occur in breast and prostate cancer patients following onset of hormone therapy. However, because of methodological shortcomings and heterogeneity of current research, conclusions regarding the effects of hormone therapy on cognitive functions remain tentative.

The review highlights the general findings while also describing the many methodological shortcomings that need to be addressed in future research. It is clear that larger scale neuropsychological studies that also evaluate the impact of impairments on daily life functioning will improve our understanding of the effects of hormone therapy on cognition and inform the development of appropriate interventions.

Current opinion in supportive and palliative care. 2016 Jan 06 [Epub ahead of print]

Lisa M Wu, Ali Amidi

aDepartment of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA bUnit for Psycho-oncology and Health Psychology, Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital cDepartment of Psychology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark *Lisa M. Wu and Ali Amidi contributed equally to the preparation of this study.