Anesthesia Can Dim Elderly Patients' Minds (?)

Posted by Clark Venable on 10/26/2004

'Anesthesia Can Dim Elderly Patients' Minds' or
Longitudinal Asssessment of Neurocognitive Function in Elderly Patient after Major, Noncardiac Surgery (pick your title):

""Conclusion: Elderly patients experience a high prevalence and persistence of cognitive decline after major, noncardiac surgery characterized by early improvement followed by a later decline. Cognitive impairment at hospital discharge predicts long-term cognitive impairment. Future investigations should evaluate the mechanisms responsible for postoperative cognitive decline and interventions to reduce this serious complication.""

The actual scientific abstract is here.

Though intriguing, it's only an abstract. There are so many confounding factors, it's really hard to know what to make of this on first blush. Where's the control group? Wouldn't it be better to have a control group that did NOT have surgery or anesthesia at all and see how they fared after two years?

[Via Yahoo! News: Health]

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