The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Risk of cognitive decline in the elderly following surgery

    Dementia_eIt’s generally assumed that older adults may experience memory loss and other problems in cognition (reasoning) following surgery.

    Results from a study at Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri suggest otherwise.

    First, the details.

    • The medical records of 575 older adults, some with very mild or mild dementia were reviewed.
    • They were divided into 3 groups.
      • Those with noncardiac surgery
      • With illness
      • Neither
    • They were followed long-term for cognitive function before and after surgery and illness.

    And, the results.

    • Changes in cognition didn’t differ among the 3 groups.
    • However, demented participants declined more markedly than nondemented participants.
    • Of the initially nondemented participants, 23% progressed to dementia; but this wasn’t more common after surgery or illness.

    The bottom line?
    Dr. John Morris concluded, “There has been a widespread belief that the memory and thinking abilities of patients with early Alzheimer’s disease may worsen as a consequence of surgery, but the evidence from this study does not support that belief.”

    11/21/09 20:15 JR

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