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Alzheimer's Disease

Brain Atrophy/Brain Shrinkage

07/14/2008

Question:

My mother who is 72 had triple bypass surgery at the end of May in 2008. She has not yet come out of the hospital. She has problems with memory, she cannot understand the simplest of things like asking her to roll on her side. She can`t walk. She is just way out there somewhere, not even close to her old self.

A doctor at the hospital she is currently in said she has brain shrinkage and that it can happen in older people after a serious surgery like that.

Can surgery do that much damage to a person? She was not even close to being the way she is now before surgery and was that not bad directly after surgery. She seems to be getting worse the more time that passes.

Is brain shrinkage reversible? Will she get any better? Is it the same as Brain Atrophy?

Answer:

The patient may have suffered a stroke and should be seen right away by a neurologist in the hospital.

For more information:

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

Response by:

Robert P Friedland, MD Robert P Friedland, MD
Formerly, Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University