Surgery Gives People’s Brains a Hard Time

I must admit to not knowing just how much surgical procedures can affect cognition as described in this article from The Observer.

Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is the term for cognitive problems associated with surgery that persist well after the effects of anaesthetics have worn off.

Studies have shown that POCD symptoms can affect everything from memory to attention, judgment and perception, and those with pre-existing health conditions are especially vulnerable.

What causes POCD remains something of a mystery.  Some point the finger at anaesthetics whilst other scientists are pinpointing the possibility that these symptoms arise through the body’s reaction to surgery itself. 

Whatever the cause, it is rightly an area of concern that needs much more investigation.