Have you ever noticed that a loved on just isn’t “the same” after a major surgery? Have you felt off after a major surgery? Let’s talk about POCD or post-operative cognitive decline. This syndrome is hotly debated, with some saying it is a real thing and others insisting that no evidence supports such a notion. But maybe you have actually experienced this decline in yourself or others? What should you know about POCD?
We are certainly glad to have some type of anesthesia available if you need a major procedure. But what is actually happening? Anesthesia affects a wide range of brain functions including cognitive activities like attention, learning, memory, and sleep. Anesthesia works in part by altering the ability of neural networks to facilitate activity between brain regions.
Because anesthesia works on so many areas, including some areas that have no direct relationship to the desired effects of the anesthesia, some neuroscientists are concerned that we are now open to unforeseen processes. Unforeseen processes being neurodegeneration.
Some studies seem to suggest that there just isn’t a relationship between surgery and some cognitive decline. However, recent studies have shown that in both animals and humans a build-up of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). I should also mention that I know of at least one case from our files which shows a dramatic increase in blood pressure that lasted several months after each surgery and then slowly came back to normal.
The studies showing increased build-up of amyloid beta and tau proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s are preliminary, and we can’t draw any hard conclusions from these just yet. Also, some epidemiological evidence suggests that when comparing people without and with dementia while looking at rates of anesthesia, no obvious patterns emerged. This suggests that no link between the actual anesthesia and dementia exists.
In our next blog, we’ll continue to discuss any relationship between POCD and relationships between Alzheimer’s and Dementia. If you are concerned about cognitive decline, check out our supplements to improve focus and memory by visiting us at OVitaminPro.com.