It has just been reported that anesthesia might have a significant impact on the mind. The latest reports on this subject are available below.
Waking up from surgery
If you are above 65 years of age, there is a considerable chance that you might wake up from surgery as a slightly different person.
Studies suggest that at least a quarter and up to half of this population experience postoperative delirium, which is a severe medical condition that causes sudden changes in behavior and thinking.
It is not clear whether the stress and trauma of surgery or the lingering effects of anesthesia are more responsible, but researchers have identified several risk factors that can help identify those who are more likely to suffer from delirium, which is the most common complication of surgery.
Until recently, delirium was not taken seriously, but researchers believe it can often be avoided and warrants more study because of its link to long-term and permanent neuropsychotic problems.
It can be incredibly challenging to distinguish delirium from primary psychiatric disorders like dementia, depression, and psychosis.
Not to mention, the symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient and even from day to day.
It’s pretty shocking to learn that up to 65% of patients aged 65 and older experience delirium after noncardiac surgery, and that 10% of those patients develop long-term cognitive decline.
Dealing with delirium can lead to longer hospital stays, more time spent on mechanical ventilation, and functional decline.
The worst part is that even after discharge, patients may continue to struggle with their functional and psychological health, which can increase the risk of progressive cognitive decline, dementia, and even death.
It’s important that we work together to recognize and address delirium as soon as possible, in order to provide the best possible care for those who are affected.
According to a study published earlier this year in JAMA Internal Medicine, postoperative delirium was linked to a 40% increase in cognitive decline among 560 older patients who were monitored for 72 months following elective surgery.