A Hypothesis-Generating Study Using Electrophysiology to Examine Cognitive Function in Colon Cancer Patients

INTRODUCTION:

The purpose of this study was to describe the trajectory of cognitive function using neuropsychological tests and electrophysiological measures in individuals receiving 5FU/oxaliplatin chemotherapy for colon cancer.

METHODS:

A total of 10 participants were tested at baseline (within 3 weeks of starting chemotherapy), 6 months (coinciding with the end of chemotherapy treatment), and 12 months (approximately 6 months post-chemotherapy). Participants completed neuropsychological tests and electrophysiology recordings of P300 event-related potential (ERP) elicited by a sustained attention to response task paired with experience sampling of attentional states (subjective reports of on-task or mind wandering).

RESULTS:

No change in mean neuropsychological test performance was observed. Comparison of mean P300 ERP amplitudes as a function of attentional states (on-task vs. mind wandering) revealed no main effect of attentional state observed at baseline or 6 months, but a significant effect of attention was observed at 12 months, consistent with effects observed in healthy individuals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Future studies can consider sustained attention constructs when studying cognitive function in colon cancer patients.

 2019 Nov 11. pii: acz051. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acz051. [Epub ahead of print]