Kessler Foundation research director wins NIH grant to study chemotherapy effects on brain

October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012. West Orange, NJ. Guang Yue, PhD, director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, has been awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of chemotherapy on brain structure, neurophysiology, and psychomotor behavior. The 2-year grant totals $366,053 (1R21CA165943-01A1)

Adjuvant chemotherapy is often prescribed to reduce risk of cancer relapse. Many patients, however, experience cognitive, psychomotor, and other functional impairments, according to Dr. Yue. Some symptoms may persist for years and can adversely affect quality of life. Despite numerous studies, the mechanisms underlying these symptoms remain elusive. Recent imaging studies suggest direct neurotoxic effects on the brain, in particular on white matter. However, no longitudinal studies have examined the effects of chemotherapy on white matter integrity in humans. Also lacking are fundamental studies that correlate a given white matter component with its corresponding neurophysiological function and behavior.

Dr. Yue's longitudinal study will examine the effects of chemotherapy on the structure of the corpus callosum and corticospinal tract and corresponding neuropsychological function and behavior. "We anticipate that this research will yield significant information regarding structural and physiological causes of the neurological side effects of chemotherapy," said Dr. Yue. "This will help us devise better ways to effectively manage symptoms. In addition, demonstrating the detrimental consequences of chemotherapeutic agents on the central nervous system may encourage the development of safer antineoplastic drugs."

About Dr. Yue

Guang H. Yue, Ph.D., is director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation. Dr. Yue focuses on translational studies in neurorehabilitation that lead to functional recovery in people with disabilities related to loss of movement and mobility. He explores the role of the central nervous system in controlling movement and muscle function, as well as how the central nervous system reacts to injury, chronic disease, and medical intervention. His goal is to understand the impact of factors that complicate recovery of function from neurological diseases, including fatigue, immobilization, aging and cognitive deficits in order to devise effective strategies for rehabilitation. He has served as principal investigator and co-investigator on more than 20 grants awarded by, among others, the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, pharmaceutical companies, and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Yue is also a professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Medicine & Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School and is affiliated faculty (Biomedical engineering) with the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation is one of the largest public charities in the field of disability. Kessler Foundation Research Center focuses on improving function and quality of life for persons with injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic neurological conditions. Kessler Foundation Program Center fosters new approaches to the persistently high rates of unemployment among people disabled by injury or disease.

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