July 23, 2018

Association of anesthesia, surgery in older adults with cognitive decline

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In adults more than 70 years of age, exposure to general anesthesia and surgery was associated with a subtle decline in memory and thinking skills in this study.

Of 1,819 patients in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, exposure to anesthesia after age 70 was linked to long-term changes in brain function.

Though the decline in brain function was small, it could be meaningful for those who already have low cognitive function who are considering surgery with general anesthesia, the authors say.

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