16 March 2009

Anaesthesia and hypothermia may increase cogntivie decline

Anesthesia or hypothermia: Warning for Alzheimer's patients
The FASEB Journal: 11 March 2009
Notice to health-care professionals: New research published online in the FASEB Journal shows that slight dips in brain temperature causes build-up of abnormal tau protein.

Everyone knows that it’s important to keep a cool head, but a new study published online in The FASEB Journal shows that for Alzheimer's patients, a cool head may make the disease worse. In the research report, scientists show that a protein associated with Alzheimer's (called "tau") builds up in brain cells at an increased rate when temperatures fall, such as when a patient is anesthetized or experiences hypothermia. This finding should be of immediate concern to surgeons, dentists, and any other health care professionals who anesthetize patients with Alzheimer's or patients at an elevated risk for the disease.

"We hope that this research will initiate an interest in taking precautions to limit the impact of anesthesia on the disease," said Emmanuel Planel of Columbia University Medical Center and one of the scientists involved in the work. … > full story

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