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Anaesthesia linked to development of Alzheimer's

Anaesthesia linked to development of Alzheimer's
29th March 2010

A new medical study has uncovered a link between anaesthesia and the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The research suggests that anaesthesia can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's among those with a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Dr Maria Angeles Mena, director of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory at Hospital Ramon y Cajal in Madrid, Spain, found that repeated anaesthesia with insoflorane, one of the most common inhalant anaesthetics, increased the likelihood of mice developing the disease.

The article, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, indicates the need to test for genetic risk factors before a patient undergoes surgery.

"Before surgery requiring anaesthesia, it may be ideal to know the genetic background of the patients so that the drugs used and the pattern of anaesthesia may be personalised accordingly," said study co-coordinator Dr Justo Garcia de Yebenes.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, there are currently four drugs on the market that can treat some of the symptoms of the condition, according to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.