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OHSU Discovers Possible Treatment For Chemo-Induced Fatigue

OPB | Dec. 18, 2013 12:45 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 18, 2013 3:14 p.m.

Dierk Schaefer - Creative Commons

Chemotherapy has many known side-effects, including debilitating fatigue. Currently, the recommended treatment for chemotherapy-induced fatigue is nutrition therapy, exercise, and meditation. There are no pharmaceutical options. Dr. Daniel Marks of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) says amphetamine-based stimulants only amplify the problem.

But according to Marks and his team of researchers, a drug currently in development to treat narcolepsy could help patients because it zeros in on orexin, a neurotransmitter that regulates wakefulness. There’s still a long way to go before the drug is approved, but it could be the answer that fatigued chemotherapy patients are looking for.

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