MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Can anesthesia from surgery cause dementia in elderly patients?

That question was the subject of a recent Mayo Clinic study. The findings were released Wednesday.

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Dr. David Warner, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, said it’s not uncommon for elderly patients to have dementia-like symptoms for extended periods of time after surgery.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

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“Some people after they have a surgical procedure, especially elderly, appear to have some problems with their thinking that may extend for several weeks or months after the operation,” said Dr. Warner.

He said researchers studied hundreds of case histories of patients in the Rochester area.

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Their conclusion?  Elderly surgery patients who receive a general anesthesia are no more likely to develop long-term dementia or Alzheimer’s than other seniors.