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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heart Bypass Surgery Does NOT Make You Stupid

16 Iyar 5768

Sorry for the delay in today's post. Some apparently Chinese viruses knocked out my PC. The blog, my PC and I are now back online.

According to the May Annals of Neurology, the good medical news in the world this week is that HEART BYPASS SURGERY DOES NOT CAUSE A DECLINE IN MENTAL SKILLS.

Though many patients seem to complain that their language, cognitive (knowing) and memory skills go downhill after heart bypass procedures, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that these problems aren't caused by the surgery itself or by the pump used to replace heart function during surgery.

Here's the linchpin of the study, excerpted from a JHU press release: "... Johns Hopkins researcher Guy McKhann explains that previous studies hadn't compared patients who had bypass surgery to those who had other treatments instead. As such, it's been unknown whether mental decline is a consequence of surgery using the bypass pump, heart troubles, part of the normal aging process, or another cause altogether."

The study involved patients who'd had heart bypass and those who had not. It compared cognitive function of patients who received cardiac bypass surgery with that of patients who received other treatments for coronary artery disease, including pharmaceuticals and stents.

Researchers found that both groups experienced an almost identical decline in cognitive function. The results suggest that THE DISEASE ITSELF, and not any particular treatment, IS THE CAUSE FOR COGNITIVE DECLINE.

McKhann says that the finding "may help the stigma that prevents some doctors from recommending bypass surgery. We don't think fear of mental changes should be a factor in deciding what kinds of treatments you have for your heart."

For more information, see
Mind/Body Research and Hopkins Neurology

CLICK HERE to listen to a broadcast about good news in the memory department.

Be sure to READ MY BOOK and to scroll around this blog for superb tips about preserving the power of your mind and even for improving it. Heart disease does not have to limit your thought processes ;^ )


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