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Anesthesia

The risk of cognitive decline related to surgery and anesthesia continues to be debated in the scientific literature. Some animal studies suggest that anesthesia may worsen the development of the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease while others identify the surgical procedure itself to be a problem by causing inflammation and release of harmful proteins. Others attribute temporary or permanent cognitive changes to the medications used to manage pain or other complications of being hospitalized. Ultimately, although this is a very active area of research, there are no definitive studies in older humans that prove a causative effect on the brain from anesthesia or provide recommendations on specific choices of anesthesia. Despite this, we hope to be able to identify information that may help our patients with cognitive problems evaluate the risk and make informed choices about surgery and anesthesia.

The risk of cognitive decline related to surgery and anesthesia continues to be debated in the scientific literature. Some animal studies suggest that anesthesia may worsen the development of the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease while others identify the surgical procedure itself to be a problem by causing inflammation and release of harmful proteins. Others attribute temporary or permanent cognitive changes to the medications used to manage pain or other complications of being hospitalized.

UCSF Over 80 Clinic

The staff of the UCSF Over 80 Clinic seek to address the complex dementia care issues commonly seen when caring for the oldest old. This care often requires an in-depth understanding of co-existing non-dementia medical illnesses, medication interactions, and the integrated living environment encountered in care of elders.

The staff of the UCSF Over 80 Clinic seek to address the complex dementia care issues commonly seen when caring for the oldest old. This care often requires an in-depth understanding of co-existing non-dementia medical illnesses, medication interactions, and the integrated living environment encountered in care of elders. In contrast to the clinical priorities for younger patients with cognitive decline, diagnosis is often only a small factor in maximizing outcomes.

Contact Us

For more information about the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank (NDBB) and its tissue sharing procedure, please contact the administrative manager. For questions about the Autopsy Program, please contact the autopsy coordinator.

For more information about the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank (NDBB) and its tissue sharing procedure, please contact the administrative manager at 415-502-7459.

For questions about the Autopsy Program, please contact the autopsy coordinator at 415-476-1681 or autopsy@memory.ucsf.edu.

Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank (NDBB) Director
William Seeley, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology
UCSF Memory and Aging Center
415-476-2793
wseeley@memory.ucsf.edu

Brain Donation

Brain donation provides individuals the opportunity to help others affected by dementia by advancing our scientific understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and healthy aging. We honor the gift of donation and treat donors, their bereaved families, and all tissue with care and respect.

Why donate?

Brain donation provides individuals the opportunity to help others affected by dementia by advancing our scientific understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and healthy aging. We honor the gift of donation and treat donors, their bereaved families, and all tissue with care and respect.

Examining the brain after death is currently the only way to obtain a definitive diagnosis of the underlying causes of dementia. A diagnosis of absolute certainty cannot be made by clinical evaluation alone.

Prion Resource Sharing

The Memory and Aging Center encourages and facilitates research and publications by current and new investigators. We are eager to help generate successful proposals, secure funding and publish study results. Resources are provided solely for use in academic, not-for-profit research at recognized educational institutions.

Academic, not-for-profit investigators can request the following resources from the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC):

  • Subjects for research studies
  • Archived data
  • Imaging data
  • Tissue specimens
  • Video clips of behaviors

For details, please see our Resource Sharing page.

Prion Research Meetings

Scientific and medical meetings provide a forum for new ideas in research or treatment to be presented to colleagues and discussed. There are several meetings focused on prion disease.

Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function

  • February 8–12, 2015
  • Mantra Lorne, Victoria, Australia
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