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Anesthesia And Dementia In Elderly Patients

http://media.soundmedicine.org/segments/081813_4.mp3

Since the advent of anesthesia many people have believed that anesthesia has increased an elderly patient’s risk of developing dementia. Recent research by the Mayo Clinic and David Warner, M.D., and his team found that though receiving anesthesia after age 45 can cause cognitive decline, it does not raise the risk of developing dementia. Dr. Warner advises patients to talk with their surgeons and anesthesiologists about ways to address cognitive dysfunction after receiving anesthesia. Dr. Warner also suggests that patients and their physicians consider less invasive procedures, or using regional anesthesia for pain relief to reduce the amount of general anesthesia needed.