Work by Prof. Mike Johnson’s research group on ‘chemobrain’, a neurological condition caused by the use of cancer chemotherapy agents, published this summer in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, was featured in Chemical and Engineering News, Science Digest and other major news outlets. Additionally, this work received an editor’s choice award from the journal and was featured on the journal cover. Patients with chemobrain often have deficits in long and short term memory as well as processing speed. Prof. Johnson’s team used sophisticated electrochemical measurements in rats treated with carboplatin, a commonly used chemotherapy agent, to determine that the release of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters involved in cognition, motor control, and addiction, are diminished even though overall levels within the brain are unchanged. This means that chemical communication between neurons is likely impaired. Additionally, the team found that carboplatin decreases the rats’ ability to carry out cognitive tasks, suggesting that these neurotransmitter release impairments may influence the ability of rats to think. However, Dr. Johnson states that more work is necessary to demonstrate cause and effect. This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the University of Kansas and the R. N. Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry.