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Approved Research

Cognitive outcomes in breast cancer survivors

Principal Investigator: Dr Kathleen Van Dyk
Approved Research ID: 94496
Approval date: April 26th 2023

Lay summary

The purpose of this project is to better understand whether breast cancer treatment affects cognition and risk for dementia in aging women.  Some effects of breast cancer and its treatment may result in accelerated brain aging, and could put some women at increased risk for developing cognitive impairment earlier in life. Most studies to date have been too small to fully understand if women who may be already at risk for dementia (e.g., if they carry the APOE4 allele that increases risk for Alzheimer's disease) might be at greater risk following treatment for breast cancer.  This proposal aims to examine the UK Biobank longitudinal data to address: a) whether breast cancer and its treatment affect a woman's risk for cognitive impairment and dementia; and b) which women with a history of breast cancer may be the at highest risk. The project duration is approximately 3-5 years and the potential public health impact includes improving identification of risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia in the large percentage of women affected by breast cancer.