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Cognitive aspects of geriatric anaesthesia 

Cognitive aspects of geriatric anaesthesia
Cognitive aspects of geriatric anaesthesia

Lars S. Rasmussen

and Jeffrey H. Silverstein

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date: 15 July 2020

This chapter reviews the highly important cognitive aspects of anaesthesia in the elderly. It clarifies the meaning of cognition and the complexity of its derangement in surgical patients. Common syndromes, such as dementia and delirium, are defined and their clinical presentations covered and the criteria for postoperative cognitive dysfunction are explored in detail. The tools available for cognitive assessment, such as questionnaires and neuropsychological test batteries, are discussed and their relative merits and pitfalls compared. Detection of acute cognitive deterioration, as in delirium, is described with possible common precipitating factors and their management. The dilemma of postoperative cognitive dysfunction, its true incidence and impact, and possible causes are detailed.

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