In addition to basic rehabilitative care, close supervision following surgery is crucial for patients with any degree of memory loss. Age-related memory loss. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction is a more serious condition that can lead to long-term memory loss and make it difficult to learn, concentrate and think. Patient Qualifications Minimum Age The study analyzed nearly 2,000 participants in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and found that exposure to anesthesia after age 70 was linked to long-term changes in brain function. Your doctor can help determine the cause … And along with common potential side effects from anesthesia during surgery such as nausea, chills or muscle aches and itching, older patients are at risk for confusion or short-term memory loss. Causes of Memory Loss Post Surgery But just as it is with muscle strength, you have to use it or lose it. For a senior who is cognitively impaired, rehab can be very confusing because they may not recall the surgery or the doctor’s orders to take it easy or understand why they must suddenly use a walker. At times, loss of memory could also be attributed to the surgery itself. The extremely common and little understood brain changes after surgery or illness includes confusion, delusions, and hallucinations. There are also reports of seniors who develop delirium, especially after heart surgery. Researchers conclude that middle-aged people have a higher risk of memory loss and cognition decline after undergoing surgical anesthesia. "Patients should write everything down or have a … Forgetfulness and memory loss are commonly seen in the elderly, but these symptoms are not necessarily part of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.In fact, there are … In two studies that examined the effect of anesthesia depth (as determined by BIS index) on cognitive function in elderly, one found that deep anesthesia (BIS < 20) was associated with higher incidence of delirium but not POCD , whereas the other showed that light anesthesia (BIS 55–70) impaired information processing ability 4–6 weeks after surgery . This study investigates the long-term effects of anesthesia on cognitive functioning after orthopedic surgery in 270 elderly patients over the age of 65 who completed a computerized cognitive battery before and 8 days, 4 and 13 months after surgery. The purpose of this study is to examine if and how brain scans can predict decline in memory and executive functioning in older adults after total knee replacement surgery. Why anesthetics cause prolonged memory loss Date: ... carefully monitor patients after surgery for any signs of memory loss. The rate of POCD among the elderly patients three months after surgery was 12.7 percent, compared to 5.7 percent among mid-life and young patients. The brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age, so significant memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging. After undergoing surgery, elderly patients often experience cloudy thinking that can last for weeks or even months. In fact, half of all people 65 and older will have at least one surgical procedure in their lifetime.

Short term memory loss may be a normal part of aging, or it may be a symptom of a more serious condition. The onset of dementia may be in the weeks, months or even years after the operation.