Surgery is associated with ventricular enlargement as well as cognitive and functional decline

Katie J. Schenning, Charles F. Murchison, Nora C. Mattek, Lisa Silbert, Jeffrey Kaye, Joseph Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: In preclinical studies, surgery/anesthesia contribute to cognitive decline and enhance neuropathologic changes underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD). Nevertheless, the link between surgery, anesthesia, apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4), and AD remains unclear. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of two prospective longitudinal aging studies. Mixed-effects statistical models were used to assess the relationship between surgical/anesthetic exposure, the APOE genotype, and rate of change in measures of cognition, function, and brain volumes. Results: The surgical group (n = 182) experienced a more rapid rate of deterioration compared with the nonsurgical group (n = 345) in several cognitive, functional, and brain magnetic resonance imaging measures. Furthermore, there was a significant synergistic effect of anesthesia/surgery exposure and presence of the APOE ε4 allele in the decline of multiple cognitive and functional measures. Discussion: These data provide insight into the role of surgical exposure as a risk factor for cognitive and functional decline in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
StateAccepted/In press - 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anesthesia
  • Apolipoprotein E ε4
  • Cognitive decline
  • Cohort study
  • Epidemiology
  • Postoperative
  • Surgery
  • Volumetric MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy

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