Cognition and Memory Impairment following Anaesthesia and Surgery: A Current Update

Sharif Darwish , Ingrid Tse , Da-Qing Ma
From the Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine and Intensive Care, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK.
J Anesth Perioper Med 2016; 3(2): 90- 101 . Published on Mar 19, 2016 . doi:10.24015/JAPM.2016.0012
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Aim of review: The aim of this review is to assess the different functions of various brain regions involved in cognition and how their impairment results in postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD).

Method: We reviewed the progress in evaluating the potential mechanisms with which they may be impaired following surgery and anaesthesia.

Recent findings: The risk of cognitive decline following surgery is a serious health concern, considering the number of surgical procedures requiring anaesthesia exceeds 230 million worldwide as well as an increasing ageing population. POCD is associated with increased mortality and a potentially devastating reduction in quality of life. POCD was suggested to be due to an inflammatory response in the brain, with the elderly population being especially vulnerable. Although the hippocampus has been heavily implicated, other brain regions and networks have not been sufficiently investigated.

Summary: A better understanding of the brain regions and their associations responsible for the cognitive functions affected in POCD, and their role in memory and cognition, could help to further clarify this potentially devastating condition.



Citation: Sharif Darwish, Ingrid Tse, Da-Qing Ma. Cognition and memory impairment following anaesthesia and surgery: a current update. J Anesth Perioper Med 2016; 3: 90-101. doi: 10.24015/JAPM.2016.0012

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