Older people who undergo surgery may experience an increased risk of developing dementia, it has been claimed.
Research from Imperial College London has found that protein clumps commonly associated with the onset of dementia were forming in the brains of mice which had undergone surgery.
According to the Daily Telegraph, it is not known whether this phenomenon is down to the surgery itself or the body's reaction to it.
Dr Daqing Ma, the lead investigator in the study, told the publication that many doctors have anecdotally told him that they have seen cases where dementia has been triggered by surgery.
Further studies will now be undertaken to investigate this link further, while also further trialling the use of the drug Celastrol, which was found to reduce the protein build up among the observed mice.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, the charity that part-funded the research, more than one million people in the UK will be living with some form of dementia by the year 2025.
Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.