Anti-inflammatory drugs could help reduce the risk of developing dementia after surgery, it is claimed. An article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal suggests that older people can often experience cognitive decline after surgery, leading to delirium and distress. While this is usually temporary, it is known to heighten the risk of developing permanent dementia. Yet a collaborative research project between scientists at Imperial College London and the University of California San Francisco reveals that anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can prevent this cognitive decline. "This study suggests that one day we also might be able to use these therapies as a single, pre-surgical dose to prevent cognitive decline in susceptible patient," said senior author Dr Mervyn Maze. According to research from the Alzheimer's Society, the number of people living with one form of dementia or another in the UK is set to exceed one million by the year 2025.
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