Breast Cancer Glutamate Study

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women with ~250,000 new cases diagnosed in the US each year. Significant advances have been made in the treatment of breast cancer, and the current number of women in the US who are considered breast cancer survivors is over 2 million. Despite these advances, breast cancer and its treatment comes at a considerable cost for a significant percentage of women with up to 70% of women experiencing behavioral and/or cognitive symptoms during treatment and approximately 30% of women experiencing these symptoms months to years after treatment completion1-4. The mechanisms which contribute to these symptoms are only beginning to be understood, however mounting data suggest that inflammation may be involved.

Several studies have linked behavioral changes such as depression, fatigue or cognitive dysfunction to increased inflammation as measured by blood tests of the immune system. However, how inflammation affects the brain to cause these symptoms is unknown. This study is designed to examine the relationship between measures of inflammation in the blood and measures of brain chemicals using brain scans. The results of the study will help us further understand why behavioral changes like depression, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction occur and how to treat them.

Participation in this study involves:
– MRI Scan
– Blood draws
– Compensation for time and effort
We are currently looking for both healthy volunteers and breast cancer patients.

For more information on this study please click on

If you are interested in participating in this study, please call us at 404-727-8229 or fill out this online form.




1.Bower JE, Ganz PA, Desmond KA, Rowland JH, Meyerowitz BE, Belin TR. Fatigue in breast cancer
survivors: occurrence, correlates, and impact on quality of life. J Clin Oncol. 2000;18(4):743-53.
2.Miller AH, Ancoli-Israel S, Bower JE, Capuron L, Irwin MR. Neuroendocrine-immune mechanisms of
behavioral comorbidities in patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(6):971-82.
3.Wefel JS, Schagen SB. Chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep.
4.Wefel JS, Witgert ME, Meyers CA. Neuropsychological sequelae of non-central nervous system cancer and cancer therapy. Neuropsychol Rev. 2008;18(2):121-31.