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Underlying Mechanisms

The etiology of cognitive impairment after chemotherapy remains unknown although a number of mechanisms have been postulated. Candidate mechanisms include: direct neurotoxic effects (e.g. injury to neurons or surrounding cells, altered neurotransmitter levels); oxidative stress and DNA damage; induced hormonal changes; immune dysregulation and/or release of cytokines; and blood clotting in small CNS vessels. Some patients may have a genetic predisposition to develop cognitive impairment.
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Genetic Factors