Heart Surgery: Alzheimer's Trigger?

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pearjas

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Aug 30, 2015
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Missouri
Hi everyone,
Quite some time ago, a topic caught my interest and I've read up on it from time to time. That topic is those who claim (or their loved ones) Alzheimer's was triggered due to surgery involving general anesthetics. I have to warn in advance, I am a bit of a worry wort but this topic interests me because Alzheimer's runs in my direct family (my father, grandfather, etc). So this would be a concern for me. It seems each article seems to either come to a different conclusion or look at it in a different way...but what I've gathered is this:
-There is some evidence that suggests that Alzheimer's can be triggered by those more prone to it by things such as heart surgery and the more surgeries at an older age, the more it seems to be the case.
-Several articles suggest the anesthetic or the surgery itself doesn't cause Alzheimer's but increases the proteins/inflammation which are hallmarks for Alzheimer's. If that is already present, the spread seems to get a lot worse.

Does anyone have any input on this? On paper, it would seem like a good idea to get surgery at a younger age if you know you're likely going to need surgery but I know we don't always have any idea. As for me, I have Ehlers Danlos (or at least something that makes my joints hypermobile). I've been through the genetic testing and only know what I do not have as of right now.
 

pellicle

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my personal take is this:
Alzheimers can be coped with by behaviour adaptation quite well. There are people with (in post mortem) staggering levels of plaques but seemed to function well to all around them. However one should not discount the importance of routine and familiarity with surroundings as being triggers for behavior.

When you take somone who has this sort of dementure out of their comfort area and into an entirely new area (say, changing care location from the home to a facility) you'll see a marked drop in their ability to get by and an increase in confusion. The progression of Alzheimers is not linear, and often has a zig zag pattern to it, but with a trend down. Health has a marked influence on mental health presentation. I've had nurses where my mother (Alheimers sufferer) was in care tell me that they can tell when anyone is getting ill just by their cognitive decline (and even something as simple as being constipated).

I would not in the least be surprised if someone was at a level where their capacity to cope had only started "raising eyebrows" and was still "easily dismissed or excuses found" (as it so often progresses) that the highly confusing situation and health changes could topple their situation.

This of course raises the difficult question of "doing this to the elderly" ... my friends mother had OHS but was talked into it by my friend and her brother. She never did well in recovery and blamed her situation on her surgery (rather than her not doing rehab) and took every opportunity to tell her kids that she'd have rather just passed away without all that additional suffering. She was over 70 anyway and had lost her husband (and in my opinion still grieving). Who were they doing it for? Themselves (not yet able to let mum go?) or her?

Hard questions need to be asked sometimes ...
 

rich01

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Aug 23, 2018
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Virginia US
One likely cause of Alzheimer's is the cascading effect of other health problems. Dale Bredesen likens it to a brown out. Things like low magnesium, low vitamin d, low sex hormones, type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc each cause a loss in ATP (energy produced in mitochondria). When energy falls far enough, the body starts shutting things down to keep critical system functioning. Like in a brownout where you can't run the air conditioner or stove, but you can run the TV and lights.

He treats Alzheimer's patients by treating each individual disease or deficiency and has been successful at stopping decline and in some cases reversing cognitive loss.

Apparently there are different types of Alzheimer's, so this seems to work for a certain type.
 

pellicle

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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I hope they discover more about this or find out how to better avoid this issue..
avoiding Alzheimers is highly correlated with:
  • fitness and physical activity
  • learning new skills (especially motor skills)
  • learning new stuff (languages and structured education)
  • leading a life with complex human interactions
this is what I've gathered in my readings about this between when my Mum was diagnosed (2000) and passed away (2006) as I consider that I have a potential familial likelihood.

(*now, why was I holding this aluminium frypan again?)

interesting

 

tom in MO

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MO USA
It could be as simple as Pump Head Syndrome mistakenly assumed to be Alzheimer disease. From alz.org "There is no single diagnostic test that can determine if a person has Alzheimer’s disease."
 

Protimenow

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It may be too easy to make a diagnosis of 'Alzheimer's' disease than it should be. I doubt that 'pump head' can be severe enough to be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's, but it may be too easy to rush to a diagnosis. (Of course, I don't know how badly pump head can be exhibited).

My wife and I have a friend with that diagnosis and a caregiver who is preventing her from social interactions, and activities that could possibly improve her situation (and, possibly, yield a different diagnosis).
 

Agian

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Adelaide, South Australia
My dad has Alzheimer's. There is nothing subtle about it. Initially, yes, we were questioning the diagnosis. Three years on, it's very obvious.
 

Protimenow

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Agian:

I'm very sorry about your dad. I was responding to the post about pump head being diagnosed as Alzheimer's.

Do you think it's possible to diagnose Pump Head as very early stage Alzheimer's?
 

Agian

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Protime, maybe really early on, but then it gets worse.

I was doing strange things in the weeks after my avr. I later found out I was anaemic as well. I think the timing would make it obvious.
 

carolinemc

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kansas city, mo
Interesting never heard of pump head syndrome
I learned about Pump head from this place. It was interesting and profound. A lot of it is this, you lose the memories of how to do certain detailed things from your job. I had a terrible time with it when I retuned to work after being off for two months. I had to relearn the simplest jobs. And then when stressed, the pump head would rear its ugly head at the worst times. I don't suffer as much from it not that I am disabled and not working. But it does happen, even for the simplest jobs.
 

ScribeWithALancet

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Oct 27, 2019
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One likely cause of Alzheimer's is the cascading effect of other health problems. Dale Bredesen likens it to a brown out. Things like low magnesium, low vitamin d, low sex hormones, type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc each cause a loss in ATP (energy produced in mitochondria). When energy falls far enough, the body starts shutting things down to keep critical system functioning. Like in a brownout where you can't run the air conditioner or stove, but you can run the TV and lights.

He treats Alzheimer's patients by treating each individual disease or deficiency and has been successful at stopping decline and in some cases reversing cognitive loss.

Apparently there are different types of Alzheimer's, so this seems to work for a certain type.
Read the book "Alzheimer's - What if there was a cure" by Dr. Newport. Her husband developed Alzheimer's. She later found out that a class of drugs called Anti-Cholinergics can contribute to Alzheimers. She also found out that glycation effects from sugar in the blood can create plaque by destroying nerve cells and that there are strong associations between lifetime exposure to anesthesia and/or anti-cholinergics with dementia/alzheimers in studies in Asian nations. The best medicine she found provided ketones to the brain cells under the assumption that Alzheimer's is a disease where the brain cannot process sugar correctly. (This is why some doctors think dementia is Type III diabetes) She provided the ketones by a different route that she was familiar with as a neonatal doctor. (the medicine was not yet approved by the FDA because it was a "medical food" and the FDA is hyper skeptical about medical foods). The ketone supplementation stopped the progression of her husband's Alzhiemer's in its tracks. However, ketones can feed brain cells to stop them from starving. They cannot restore dead brain cells to life. No cure but at least one treatment. So it might be better for the researchers to be looking at dementia as a family of diseases rather then just Alzheimer's and looking at it as having multiple causes not just one.

In the meantime, I will be avoiding sugar, anesthesia and anti-cholergenic drugs to the extent that I can. I will also follow your advice on exercise both of mind and body. Going on a near-Ketogenic Atkins/Bernstein diet stopped my pre-diabetes and got rid of my spare tire although it did not get rid of my weight just redistributed it. Paleowoman's diet would probably work just as well.
-
The mother of my best friend from grade school was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. His dad was skeptical and forced an autopsy. It turned out she had undiagnosed diabetes that can cause virtually identical symptoms.

Walk in His Peace and have a blessed Christmas,
ScribeWithALancet
 

almost_hectic

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naples, florida
I’m curious to know more about the effects of anesthesia, I’ve had many surgeries/procedures under anesthesia. I couldn’t tell you which ones but throughout my life it’s been several times. OHS obviously the most significant, but perhaps it compounded the effects of prior exposure.
 
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