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Can anesthesia usage during hip operation cause short term memory loss ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9077 Questions
Dr. Grief, My wife has been suffering short term mromory loss for the last two years; recently, it has gotten worse -- she cannot remember something I tell her 3 - 5 minutes ago and she cannot remember that she told me something recently. About three to four years ago, she had a second hip operation and was under anesthesia for about 10 hours; the hospital says it was 7 1/2 hours, but her first operation, she was under for onlty 4 hours. I am wondering if this may have contributed to her current problems The doctors will not discuss it with her, so I'm not able to get a handle on the matter. We only want to know if this is a result of age (she's 79), the onset of dementia and eventually alzheimers, so we can prepare for whatever comes. Please advise.
Posted Fri, 28 Mar 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Can be due to Alzheimer's disease. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The short term memory loss that your wife is having is not likely to be due to the affect of anaesthesia that she had 3-4 years ago. Since the amnesia is progressive it is more likely to be due to Alzheimer's disease. The commonest cause of this condition at her age is low blood glucose levels either due to prolonged starvation, dieting irregular feeding habits or diabetes. These causes should be ruled out first of all. Second cause is depression and anxiety. These can cause a kind of “brain fog” that makes it difficult to concentrate and pay attention to things. As a result, it is harder for depressed or anxious people to store information in short term memory. She can do meditation, yoga and deep breathing exercises to decrease the problem. Third possible reason is Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia which is common among XXXXXXX citizens. Other causes include head trauma, brain injury and brain tumors, alcohol and drug abuse which can damage or destroy brain cells, affecting a person’s ability to remember things. Try to keep her mind busy with reading, crosswords, search a word and by playing Scrabble. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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