Major surgery doubles the risk of substantial mental decline, ...

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Major surgery doubles the risk of substantial mental decline, study finds

Scientists flag strokes, mini-strokes and inflammation among the dangers of going under the knife

Sarah Knapton

Major surgery doubles the chance of a substantial decline in mental skills, including reasoning, memory and language ability, a study suggests.

Doctors and scientists have long feared that general anaesthetic, mini-strokes or inflammation may damage the brain during surgery, but there has been little evidence to demonstrate a long-term impact.

Now a longitudinal study of more than 7,000 British civil servants, who were tested between 1997 and 2016, has found that those who underwent major operations were twice as likely to suffer substantial cognitive decline than those who did not have surgery...

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