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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 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)
Pages (from-to)590-597
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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