Total anesthesia after 65 and risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

December 18, 2013

Total anesthesia after 65 and risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Total anesthesia can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, over the years,  in those over 65.

Data obtained from several studies, in vitro or on animals, suggests that some anesthetics could promote neuro-inflammatory reactions and could increase the formation of the precursors of Alzheimer’s disease, including  β–amyloide plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.
The aim of this study, presented at the annual congress of the European Society of Anesthesiology (ESA) in Barcelona, is to analyze the risk of dementia associated with anesthesia.
A team of researchers from the CHU of Bordeaux interviewed participants over 65 after total anesthesia and at a distance of  2, 4, 7 and  10 years.  At every follow-up, François Sztark and his colleagues asked 7,746 participants not affected by dementia if they had undergone anesthesia since the last control.
The evaluation also included a complete cognitive evaluation by a specific screening for dementia.  Results demonstrated that those that had undergone at least one total anesthesia had an increased risk of developing dementia compared to other participants.  Two years after the follow-up, 32.9% of the participants had undergone total anesthesia, and 9% of these had developed dementia within 8 years.
Amongst these, 284  a probable case of Alzheimer’s.
The average age of the participants was 75.7 years, 61.4 % women and 33.1 % men.
During the follow-up, 545 cases of dementia were diagnosed.