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The feasibility and sensitivity of VoxNeuro to measure cognitive function in cancer survivors with cognitive impairment and cancer-related fatigue

Study Lead
Study Lead
Associate Professor
Sarah Walker, RN, MNSc Queen’s University, School of Nursing
Jane Tyerman, RN, PhD, CCSNE Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa, School of Nursing
Project Manager
Sarah Walker, RN, MNSc Queen’s University, School of Nursing

What? Neurofeedback or electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback has been shown previously to benefit cancer survivors by improving their memory, focus, energy, and quality of life. The results experienced from neurofeedback are similar to those experienced as a result of meditation, but meditation can be challenging to complete for cancer survivors if they have persistent symptoms.  This feasibility study aims to validate the use of VoxNeuro Cognitive Health AssessmentsTM, a new assessment tool, to detect cognitive differences between cancer survivors, those with no prior cancer diagnosis, and changes in cancer survivors' cognitive function following neurofeedback. 

 

Why? Up to 75% of cancer survivors live with persistent symptoms of post-cancer cognitive impairment (PCCI) and cancer-related fatigue (CRF). These conditions can impair concentration, memory, and decrease quality of life. They are present in over one-third of survivors for months or years after treatment. Since PCCI is poorly understood, there is an urgent need to identify interventions that reduce cognitive impairment in cancer survivors. Additionally, a measure of cognitive functio needs to be identified to support reserach about PCCI treatments. 

 

How? Adult breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer survivors from Kingston, Ontario will be recruited through community advertisements. The VoxNeuro Cognitive Health AssessmentTM will be carried out to eligible participants over 45-minute session involving EEG measurements, visual stimulation, and completion of cognitive tasks. The cognitive assessments will be carried out prior to and after 20 sessions of NeurOptimalTM neurofeedback. 

 

Impact of findings: The goal of this research is to assess whether VoxNeuro can detect a change in the cognitive function of cancer survivors with PCCI and CRF after 20 sessions of NeurOptimalTM neurofeedback, data which has not been collected previously. Our study will also examine whether it is feasible to conduct a larger clinical trial on this topic. The results will also useful to inform healthcare professionals in their care of cancer survivors. 

Funded By
Sigma Theta Tau International