Home E-Weekly August 1, 2017

News & Notes

Published: July 31, 2017

  • Multiple anesthesia doses may impair toddlers later in life Repeated exposure to anesthesia in children younger than age 3 may create significant cognitive issues later in life, a new study suggests. Researchers who examined medical and school records of roughly 1,000 children born between 1996 and 2000 found that the 116 subjects who'd had multiple early exposures were significantly more likely to have learning disabilities, ADHD, reduced cognitive ability and poorer grades. Those with single exposures also had modest decreases in reading and language achievement, but not in cognitive ability. The researchers caution, however, that the results don't confirm a causal relationship.
  • Post-op confusion in elderly patients may indicate heightened risk of dementia Elderly patients who become disoriented or confused after surgery are more likely to develop dementia later on, according to a new study assessing the effects of post-operative delirium (POD). Of the 1,152 patients ages 65 and older who developed POD despite being deemed cognitively normal prior to surgery, nearly 9.5% experienced mild cognitive impairment or dementia 9 months after surgery. The authors suggest elderly patients who experience POD — caused by dysregulated neuronal activity that presents as acute confusion, disorganized thinking or fluctuating mental status — may benefit from extended neurocognitive follow-up care to treat what could be an emerging cognitive impairment.
  • In bariatric surgery, a lower pre-operative BMI equals a better outcome Delaying bariatric surgery until a patient becomes severely obese — a body mass index of 50 or greater — may result in inferior post-operative outcomes, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery. Whereas 36% of patients with a BMI of less than 40 achieved a BMI of less than 30 within a year of having bariatric surgery, only 8.5% of patients with a BMI of 50 or greater could say the same. Patients with a lower pre-operative BMI also discontinued medication to treat hyperlipidemia, diabetes and hypertension at a higher rate. In addition, researchers found that patients who had a sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass or duodenal switch were more likely to fare better than those who underwent adjustable gastric banding.
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