Brain functioning is affected least by General anesthesia when compared to other risk factors of the patient, as per a Dutch study, presented at Euroanaesthesia, the annual meeting of the The European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC), published in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology.
It is reported that older patients often experience a decline in cognitive function after general anesthesia during surgery. These cognitive declines can last for months or even years.
‘Brain functioning is affected least by General anesthesia when compared to other risk factors of the patient.’
The present 12 year-study enrolled 1,823 adults among the age group 25 to 84 years from the Registration Network Family Practices.
It was demonstrated that patient factors such as a history of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, smoking, and lower educational level have more impact on long-term cognitive decline than exposure to general anesthesia.
“Our study suggests that repeated exposure to surgery under general anaesthesia has little effect on long-term cognitive decline, with subtle impairments in the ability to focus on specific tasks and how quickly you can process information and make decisions based upon that information. Instead, it appears that patient factors such as a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and educational level are more important for the speed of cognitive decline over an individual’s lifetime. These patient factors seem to be more important, but also better modifiable factors than a (necessary) operation under general anaesthesia,” says lead author Dr. Christoph Pennings from Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.