Elderly patients who undergo operations requiring a general anaesthetic may be at greater risk of developing dementia, researchers warn. A study of more than 9,000 adults with an average age of 75 found the risk of suffering dementia was raised by a third in those who had had a general anaesthetic up to a decade earlier.
It is common for people immediately following general anaesthetic to have short-term difficulties with speaking and thinking. The condition, known as post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), is thought to be caused by inflammation of nerve fibres in the brain. But it is not known whether POCD is associated with the later development of dementia.
Researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and the University of Bordeaux interviewed almost 9,300 residents over the age of 65 in three French cities and monitored them for a decade. After two years one in…
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