Cognitive impairment in hodgkin lymphoma survivors

Estherina Trachtenberg, Tatiana Mashiach, Rachel Ben Hayun, Tamar Tadmor, Tali Fisher, Judith Aharon-Peretz, Eldad J. Dann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) is commonly reported post-chemotherapy in adults with solid tumours. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) mostly affects young adults. Data regarding CRCI in HL survivors (HLS) are scarce. The current study aimed to objectively assess CRCI incidence and characteristics in HLS. HLS, who completed first-line (chemotherapy ± radiation) therapy and remained in complete remission for 6 months to 5 years from therapy end, were evaluated. Age- and education-matched healthy individuals served as controls (n = 14). Test results were compared to population norms and healthy controls. Study participants completed self-reported questionnaires evaluating fatigue, depression, anxiety, quality of life and cognitive function. Subjects underwent neurocognitive evaluation, assessing processing speed, memory, attention, executive functions and intelligence domains. The present study included 51 HLS with a median age of 28 years, mean education of 14·5 ± 2·5 years. Complaints related to cognitive deterioration and fatigue were significantly more severe and frequent in HLS compared to healthy controls. Objective neurocognitive evaluation demonstrated that 30% of HLS were impaired in ≥2 cognitive domains. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that fatigue and cognitive impairment, predominantly in executive functions and memory, constitute frequent and alarming findings in HLS. These adverse effects can persist and exert an impact on all aspects of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-678
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI)
  • executive functions
  • fatigue
  • hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
  • memory


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