Postoperative delirium may indicate the development of Alzheimer's disease

American scientists from Beth Israel Medical center in Boston conducted a genetic analysis and found that a predisposition to Alzheimer's disease may be one of the factors of postoperative delirium. And each case of delirium, in turn, increases the risk of developing this disease. The study is published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

Postoperative delirium is a frequent complication in the elderly that occurs after surgical interventions using anesthesia. As scientists have found, this phenomenon is also closely associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Experts have conducted a study of genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's, which could indirectly influence the appearance of delirium in patients. They analyzed blood samples from 560 patients aged 70 years and older. The biopsy was taken before the operation, immediately after it, as well as two days and a month after the intervention. It turned out that the carriers of a certain genetic variant-APOE-4-showed much brighter symptoms of postoperative delirium. The fact is that such a mutant version of the gene can change the body's response to inflammation: for example, patients had an increased concentration of C-reactive protein — one of the main sensitive markers of acute inflammation.

Thus, the APOE-4 gene may indicate the development of cognitive impairment. The findings, according to the authors, will help doctors prevent postoperative delirium and predict negative cognitive effects in patients with this genetic variant.

Nov. 25, 2019, 10:12 a.m.

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