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Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's and the Effects of Anesthesia in Surgery

06/06/2003

Question:

I have read that a person with Alzheimer's Disease that goes under anesthesia for surgery, will have increased symptoms and actually worsen the Alzheimer's, and dementia, Is this true? Thanks

Answer:

There are no additional risks of anesthesia, however it is important to know that there may be a prolonged recovery time. Patients with AD can experience increased confusion for quite some time after receiving anesthesia, and family members would want to be prepared to offer extra supervision and reassurance. The anesthesiologist should be informed ahead of time if a person with AD is taking one of the memory medications, as this may influence the choice of anesthesia. 

Related Resources:

University Memory and Aging Center

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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

Wendy Lemere, MSN, RN, CS
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University