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Alzheimer's Disease

Anesthesia and Alzheimer's Disease

06/28/2002

Question:

After surgery, can the affects of anesthesia cause the person with AD to progress further in the disease? In other words an individual was functioning at a higher level and was able to follow one-stage commands however post surgery (at 2 weeks) the person can no longer follow commands.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Dr. Cony Santillan, from the University Memory and Aging Center has responded. "A person with AD is more susceptible to the effects of both anesthesia and surgery, hence, one may see a deterioration of previous functioning. It also takes them a longer time to recover from its effects and may even take 6 months for them to recover, assuming that there are no additional medical problems that will crop up. Two weeks is too short of a time to gauge recovery from the effects of the surgery and anesthesia." We hope this has been of help to you. Feel free to contact us again if you have more questions.

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Response by:

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University