A new study has revealed that when combined with low oxygen conditions a widely-used anaesthetic, desflurane, can produce excess amounts of a protein associated with Alzheimer's.
Research conducted by a team from the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Mass General Institute for Neurodegenaertaive Disease at the Massachusetts General Hospital and? Harvard Medical School found that when combined with low oxygen levels desflurane stimulated cellular changes associated with the neurodegenerative condition.
Medical News Today reports that some 200 million people undergo surgery each year and there has been widespread concern that anaesthetics could contribute to Alzheimer's or other brain disorders.
However, the researchers were keen to point out that more work is needed to ascertain the exact effects of the drug - but stated that preliminary tests suggest that it is vital to ensure that patients get enough oxygen to their brains when under anaesthetics.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, some 700,000 people living in the UK suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
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