Cognitive function after surgery with regional or general anesthesia: A population-based study

Juraj Sprung, Phillip Schulte, David S Knopman, Michelle M Mielke, Ronald Carl Petersen, Toby N. Weingarten, David P. Martin, Andrew C. Hanson, Darrell R. Schroeder, David Oman Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Our aim was to examine whether surgery with regional anesthesia (RA) is associated with accelerated long-term cognitive decline comparable with that previously reported after general anesthesia (GA). Methods: Longitudinal cognitive function was analyzed in a cohort of 1819 older adults. Models assessed the rate of change in global and domain-specific cognition over time in participants exposed to RA or GA. Results: When compared with those unexposed to anesthesia, the postoperative rate of change of the cognitive global z-score was greater in those exposed to both RA (difference in annual decline of −0.041, P = .011) and GA (−0.061, P < .001); these rates did not differ. In analysis of the domain-specific scores, an accelerated decline in memory was observed after GA (−0.065, P < .001) but not RA (−0.011, P = .565). Conclusions: Older adults undergoing surgery with RA experience decline of global cognition similar to those receiving GA; however, memory was not affected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Anesthesia: regional
  • Attention/executive function
  • Cognitive aging
  • Cognitive z-scores
  • Domains: memory
  • General
  • Global cognitive scores
  • Language
  • Mayo Clinic Study of Aging
  • Older adults
  • Surgery
  • Visuospatial skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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