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Alzheimer's and Anesthesia
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Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463

Originally posted by: DawnD

My mom is diagnosed with Alzheimer's (age 60) about 1 year ago. We were told that she may have to have surgery for a frozen shoulder. Has anyone heard or had experiences with the effects of anesthesia on an Alz patient? I read some article, but wanted to hear from you guys. Thanks
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: New Realm


I'm reposting this article excerpt that I posted on Dawn's Caregiver forum thread. It's commonly confused, but Isoflurane is considered the one to avoid, and Desflurane is the one that is thought to be OK.


New Realm Posted May 21, 2008 8:18 AM

Here is one of many articles that can be found by googling this phrase:

"Anesthesia and Alzheimer's"

In studies of human brain cells, the widely-used anesthetic desflurane does not contribute to increased production of amyloid-beta protein; however, when combined with low oxygen conditions, it can produce more of this Alzheimer's associated protein.

Over 200 million people undergo surgery each year, and there has been concern that anesthetic use may contribute to Alzheimer's and other brain disorders. Bin Zhang, Yuanlin Dong, Rudolph Tanzi, Zhongcong Xie, and colleagues examined this possibility with commonly used inhalation anesthetics isoflurane previously and desflurane more recently.

They subjected human brain cells to 12% desflurane for six hours (mimicking a surgery condition) and observed no changes in either the production of amyloid-beta protein or the rate of cell death. However, when combined with low oxygen levels (18%), desflurane could stimulate these cellular changes associated with Alzheimer's (hypoxia by itself did not induce any changes). The results with desflurane are contrary to the researchers' previous work, which found isoflurane by itself could stimulate both amyloid production and cell death.

The researchers do emphasize that the current findings are from cell culture experiments, and the next critical step will be to confirm these findings in animal models and test the effects of other anesthetic agents. But, these early results suggest that it is important to ensure anesthetic patients maintain sufficient oxygen in their brain.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: younghope1

THNAK YOU for correcting me on that Diana. I need to be more careful Frowner
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:41 PM
Originally posted by: younghope1

Hi Dawn, there are two types of anesthesia that are commonly used in hospitals and I believe the one you want to ask for is Isoflurane, it is the healthier of the two. Also when I had disc surgery in my neck I explained to them that I had dementia and they used less which meant I woke up quicker and didn't feel as confused as I had in surgeries past. Hope this helps..........