5 doctors weighed in:

Can anesthesia cause brain damage or reduce cognition? Not from complications but purely from the anesthesia affecting your brain?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Monica Michel
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

It can affect your brain in the temporary period by slowing down its functions but should cause no permanent damage.

In brief: No

It can affect your brain in the temporary period by slowing down its functions but should cause no permanent damage.
Dr. Monica Michel
Dr. Monica Michel
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Dr. Felix Brizuela
Neurology

In brief: Yes

The purpose of anesthesia is to shut your brain down.
It shuts everything down, including cognition while it is in your system.

In brief: Yes

The purpose of anesthesia is to shut your brain down.
It shuts everything down, including cognition while it is in your system.
Dr. Felix Brizuela
Dr. Felix Brizuela
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1 comment
Dr. Alla Tamarkin
There are really no randomized, prospective studies in humans that show general anesthesia decreases cognition. Patients that undergo cardiac bypass surgeries tend to have issues with cognition but the mechanism there is different ie plaques in arteries going into the brain. Studies in rats have found some potential damage to brain cells with volatile agents. However, there is no data for huma
Dr. Forrest Jones
Family Medicine

In brief: Possibly yes

Though not clearly understood as yet (little data available in humans), there is suspicion that general anesthesia exposure may be associated with increased risk for later learning, memory, and cognition deficits.
The infant and the elderly are especially vulnerable, but effects vary by individual and by anesthetic agent. Hope that helps. Thanks.

In brief: Possibly yes

Though not clearly understood as yet (little data available in humans), there is suspicion that general anesthesia exposure may be associated with increased risk for later learning, memory, and cognition deficits.
The infant and the elderly are especially vulnerable, but effects vary by individual and by anesthetic agent. Hope that helps. Thanks.
Dr. Forrest Jones
Dr. Forrest Jones
Thank
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