Does general anaesthetic affect your memory? In the particular past eight years I have got had six general anaesthetics plus my memory is not just like it once was. Or is usually my memory loss down in order to old age? We are 72.

Stuart Ballard, by email.

You plus many others will be reassured to know that general anaesthetics are usually not an established cause of long lasting memory loss.

Although there is usually much debate on the subject matter, there is absolutely no evidence that the medications used in anaesthesia cause harm to the tissue of the particular brain.

Your concern is not really unusual, however. It is the universal experience that following the age group of about 50, people discover their memory is not since sharp as it used in order to be. They tend to have got particular trouble remembering names plus recent events, such as exactly what they had for lunch last night.

There is no evidence that drugs used in anaesthesia cause damage to the tissue of the brain

There is no evidence that drugs used in anaesthesia cause damage to the tissue of the brain

There is simply no evidence that drugs utilized in anaesthesia cause damage to the tissues from the brain

It’s a common concern that people see their DOCTOR about. Like you, they frequently tone of voice anxieties about anaesthetic â€? right after all, so many people within this age group may have acquired surgery or will be planned to have an operation â€? or they’re worried their storage has been impacted by prescribed medicine.

In the background, there is usually the fear that dementia is usually on the horizon. Yet these types of sorts of memory difficulties may be a normal part associated with the ageing process: brain tests of elderly people suggest the particular brain shrinks with age.

It is a matter of common sense and considerable expertise for physicians to differentiate between normal aging and a condition generally known as gentle cognitive impairment, an intermediate condition between normal function and earlier dementia.

The cornerstone from the assessment is the medical consultation. This particular face-to-face examination gives the patient’s GP a sense of the particular extent of the problem plus enables them to make evaluations with others of the exact same age.

Many people voice their anxieties about anaesthetic to their GPs 

Many people voice their anxieties about anaesthetic to their GPs 

Many individuals voice their anxieties about anaesthetic for their GPs 

It is one cause why it is essential in order to be seen by a physician who knows both you and has implemented you over the years.

There are also screening tests offered that GPs, neurologists and psychiatrists use, for instance a set of questions called the mini-mental state exam. This includes questions about the particular date and time; it furthermore tests the patient’s ability in order to recall a list of words and phrases, to do mental arithmetic plus to spell a word in reverse.

When the effect of this test is usually abnormal it will probably be followed by a lot more detailed neuro- psychological testing. This particular usually involves longer tests below the care of a scientific psychologist, who will use forms to determine which areas associated with cognitive function are affected.

The patient may also undergo the CT or magnetic resonance human brain imaging scan to check regarding cerebrovascular disease (where there are usually problems with blood supply in order to the brain � any trigger of dementia) and other problems.

It would be unwise associated with me to venture an viewpoint about your own situation, yet from what you have informed me it is worth having the conversation along with your GP.

I should stress again, however, that common anaesthetic is unlikely to have got been the cause.

I acquired my gallbladder removed last year plus now my wife needs hers removed. Is this normal? Or even could there be something otherwise going on in both people that we should be examined for?

Alan Daly, by e-mail.

The gallbladder is a tank for storing bile � the fluid that helps with digestive function � that has formed within the liver.

If it starts in order to malfunction (for reasons that are usually not fully understood), then little stones � usually made associated with cholesterol � can build inside this, potentially triggering symptoms like discomfort in the abdomen and hazy sensations such as bloating, heartburn symptoms, acidity and belching.

The unhealthy gallbladder can also become contaminated � generally known as acute cholecystitis.

If the gall bladder starts to malfunction  then small stones can start to appear inside it 

If the gall bladder starts to malfunction  then small stones can start to appear inside it 

If the gall urinary starts to malfunction then little stones can start to look within it 

Symptoms and infection are certainly not unavoidable, but once they do begin to occur then the recommended therapy would be to remove the gallbladder (known as cholecystectomy).

Your body really does not actually need a gallbladder, and after the operation the particular digestive system will adapt plus function normally. Gallstone disease is usually common. Around 6 per dime of men and 9 for each cent of women are believed to have gallstones, though just about 20 per cent of these with stones will develop signs and symptoms.

To answer your question all of us need to consider the risk aspects for developing gallstone disease, plus there are many of these types of.

Age is the major danger factor (stones usually develop within middle age). Being female is usually a risk factor, as is usually being pregnant or having already been pregnant in the past, mainly because oestrogen, the female sex body hormone, alters the chemistry from the bile. For the same reason, using oral contraceptives or HRT furthermore boosts the risk.

Family history is usually a risk factor along along with obesity, diabetes and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and getting a sedentary lifestyle.

Given the particular frequency of this condition, plus the numerous risk factors, the particular fact that both your spouse have developed gallstones does not really suggest either of you offers a sinister underlying condition. Even though you may lead similar life styles, it is basically a chance, and your respective risk aspects is going to be somewhere in that lengthy list. There is no cause to undergo any other research.  

By the way in which… The men who also MUST have cancer tests 

When prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing has been introduced some 30 years back, doctors were pleased finally in order to have a means of testing men for prostate cancer.

Most don’t have symptoms until the particular cancer has spread, so getting able to identify â€? and thus treat â€? it early appeared like the Holy Grail had already been found.

But it soon happened that this test (which steps levels of a protein created by the gland) was the false dawn.

It transpired that the tests for prostate cancer introduced 30 years ago were a false dawn 

It transpired that the tests for prostate cancer introduced 30 years ago were a false dawn 

It transpired that the tests regarding prostate cancer introduced 30 many years ago were a false dawn 

Studies in subsequent years have solid a shadow over the top of it, on accounts of the high false optimistic rate � more than 20 per cent of men along with a raised PSA do not possess prostate cancer at all (raised ranges can also be a indication of an enlarged prostate, regarding example).

What’s more, although the positive test in some males does indicate cancer, a percentage of these tumours are so slower growing regarding never be life-threatening. This can result in a scenario in which treatment is a lot more disabling than the cancer by itself â€? basically, the test offers led to over-diagnosis.

Medical experts are still divided about the particular effectiveness of PSA testing plus the ratio of benefits compared to harm.

The best summary associated with the evidence is the fact that for every single 1, 000 men who go through screening several times each more than ten or more years, 1 death from prostate cancer may be avoided.

Screening must be structured to the risks of the individual and not simply a blanket edict

Screening must be structured to the risks of the individual and not simply a blanket edict

Screening must be structured to the particular risks of the individual plus not simply a blanket edict

But that is set contrary to the numerous men who will be broken by radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy, body hormone therapy and other cancer remedies, which take the risk of urinary : incontinence, erectile dysfunction, or intestinal problems.

However, it now appears that the pendulum has thrown too far the other method.

As many as one within ten men who request PSA screening are rejected by their particular GPs, the charity Prostate Malignancy UK reported last week. However we know that about 1 in eight men will obtain prostate cancer, rising to 1 in four men who may have the family history of the illness (such like a brother or dad who had it).

These are usually the very men who need to be screened, along with individuals with family history of the defective BRCA gene and black males (all these groups have the significantly higher risk).

What most this means is that physicians and patients must bear within mind the things i so often beat on about on these webpages: screening must be structured in order to the risks of the person and not simply a quilt edict.

Care must be delivered to go through the patient’s background so that doctor and individual can decide, together, whether in order to screen or not. Which requires time.


To contact Dr Scurr having a wellness query, write to him with Good Health, Daily Mail, two Derry Street, London, W8 5TT or email drmartin@dailymail. co. united kingdom – including contact details. Doctor Scurr cannot enter into individual correspondence. His replies cannot use to individual cases and need to be taken in a common context. Always consult your very own GP with any health {worries|con