Washington: Elderly who have been exposed to general anaesthesia are at 35 percent more risk of suffering from dementia, a new research has claimed.Postoperative cognitive dysfunction, or POCD, could be associated with dementia several years later.POCD is a common complication in elderly patients after major surgery. It has been proposed that there is an association between POCD and the development of dementia due to a common pathological mechanism through the amyloid beta peptide.Several experimental studies suggest that some anaesthetics could promote inflammation of neural tissues leading to POCD and/or Alzheimer`s disease (AD) precursors including beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. But it remains uncertain whether POCD can be a precursor of dementia.In this new study, the researchers analysed the risk of dementia associated with anaesthesia within a prospective population-based cohort of elderly patients (aged 65 years and over).The team used data from the Three-City study, designed to assess the risk of dementia and cognitive decline due to vascular risk factors. Between 1999 and 2001, the 3C study included 9294 community-dwelling French people aged 65 years and over in three French cities (Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier).Participants aged 65 years and over were interviewed at baseline and subsequently 2, 4, 7 and 10 years after.
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