Changes in functional brain networks and neurocognitive function in Chinese gynecological cancer patients after chemotherapy: A prospective longitudinal study

Yingchun Zeng, Andy S.K. Cheng (Corresponding Author), Ting Song, Xiujie Sheng, Huaidong Cheng, Yingwei Qiu, Jianfei Xie, Chetwyn C.H. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous neurocognitive assessments in non-central nervous system cancers highlight the high incidence of neurocognitive dysfunction in this study population. However, there have been few studies exploring neurocognitive dysfunction induced by chemotherapy in gynecological cancer patients. This prospective longitudinal study was conducted to assess neurocognitive functioning and functional brain networks in Chinese gynecological cancer patients pre- A nd post-chemotherapy, while additionally including age-matched healthy subjects as the control group. Methods: All research participants were evaluated using a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and neurocognition assessment. Behavioral data were conducted using SPSS for descriptive statistics, correlation and comparison analyses. Preprocessing of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) data and network analyses were performed using GRETNA (Graph Theoretical Network Analysis). Results: A total of 40 subjects joined this study, with 20 subjects in each group. With the exception of the mean of psychomotor speed, there was no significant difference pre-chemotherapy between patients and healthy controls in neurocognitive test mean scores (Ps > 0.05). During the post-chemotherapy assessment, there were significant differences in the mean scores of neurocognitive tests (including Digit Span tests, verbal memory, immediate recall, delayed recall, and information processing speed tests) (all Ps < 0.05). Longitudinal graph analysis revealed statistically significant differences in the patient group, with significant decreases in both local efficiency (P < 0.01) and global efficiency (P = 0.04). Lower raw TMT-A scores were significantly associated with lower local efficiency (r = 0.37, P = 0.03). Lower verbal memory scores were statistically significant and associated with lower global efficiency (r = 0.54, P = 0.02) in the patient group, but not in the healthy control group. Conclusions: This study found that the risk of brain function and neurocognitive changes following chemotherapy could potentially guide patients in making appropriate treatment decisions, and this study may identify a cohort that could be suited for study of an intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number386
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019


  • Chemotherapy
  • Chinese patients
  • Functional brain networks
  • Gynecological cancer
  • Neurocognitive function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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