Heart Bypass Surgery Increases Risk Of Alzheimer’s

by Jon Henshaw

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers have discovered that patients who have either coronary artery bypass graft surgery or coronary angioplasty are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The research, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, pinpoints stress and trauma of the surgery as the major cause for the increased risk.

Led by Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD, professor of pharmacology at BUSM, researchers compared 5,216 people who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and 3,954 people who had a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) in 1996 and 1997. Over the course of five years, 78 of the patients who had bypass surgery and 41 of those who had angioplasty developed Alzheimer’s disease.

“The coronary bypass patients had a 70 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” said Wolozin, co-author of the study. “This increased incidence of neurocognitive degeneration associated with heart bypass surgery provides further incentive for more studies to better characterize the risks of cardiac surgery on the brain.”

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2005 at 8:19 am and is filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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