View Full Version : I wonder how much of our problems are from surgery or anesthesia


Cyllya
06-09-17, 06:20 PM
A while back, I first heard of post-operative cognitive dysfunction (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postoperative_cognitive_dysfunction). It's where some people having surgery have cognitive problems afterward, usually for a few weeks but sometimes longer. The prevailing hypothesis is that it's related to some kind of brain inflammation caused by anesthesia. Seems more likely with general anesthesia, but it also applies to local anesthesia.

This interested me because symptoms of POCD are similar to ADHD symptoms, except often worse. Plus, while I had some ADHD-ish traits when I was a kid, it seemed to get way worse near the end of college, which just happens to be time I had my wisdom teeth extraction surgery. I've often wondered, is my increase in impairment really ONLY due to my change in circumstances.

POCD is supposedly temporary, except in elderly patients, but then I noticed the diagnostic tests they use for POCD are the sorts of things that will only pick up a fairly severe level of symptoms. The level of dysfunction that results in life impairment is much lower than the level of dysfunction that makes a difference on neuropsych assessments. (Hence why those assessments do such a crummy job of diagnosing ADHD.)

So I decided to check for statistics of ADHD and surgery correlating... and sure enough...
http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/02/can-anesthesia-raise-the-risk-of-adhd/
The details are still unknown, but it's known that there is an association.

Obviously, surgery/anesthesia is not the sole cause of all the ADHD that's ever occurred, but I wonder how many of us would be living easier lives with subclinical symptoms if it were not for this phenomenon?

Alas, this doesn't open any further treatment options. However, it does lower my faith in psychiatry and neurology even further. Even though the ADHD increase in kids having surgery and POCD in adults having surgery seem to be something very similar, the only difference being patient age, quite possibly the same thing happening, nothing I've read on either topic makes any mention of the other. The possibility that the same thing can happen other age groups seems to have not occurred to either type of researcher.

sarahsweets
06-10-17, 06:36 AM
I wonder if this is limited to kids under the age of 18, like younger kids and their brains still developing? I had my tonsils out when I was 5 and had a horrible reaction to the ether and whatever that was used. This was over 20 years ago. I wonder if it affected my chances of developing adhd or increased my already genetic predisposition?

WheresMyMind
06-12-17, 03:01 AM
How would you ever be able to tell?

Based on my friendship with lots of people with and without ADHD going through college, I'd say the ADHD-ish dysfunctions from high school graduation to college graduation become bigger in everybody, including neurotypicals.

For that matter, a lot of the books on ADHD claim that if a person got a 4 year degree in 4 years, it's pretty unlikely they had ADHD in the first place!

You'd have to restrict the investigation to people who've had surgery or anaesthaesia (sp?) WITHOUT any other type of life-changing event (graduation, new job, move to new city, changing romantic partner etc) over the same period of time. College years are massively life-changing anyway, so it's probably the worst time to use if you're trying to blame something on anything other than life-changing events.

WMM

stef
06-12-17, 03:41 AM
It could contribute ; but that would be limited (just my opinion), because
From my own experience, I had my first general anestetic at I think 13 (also wisdom teeth), no adverse reaction, and it didnt affect any symptoms I had, either way
At the same time this is not something to be ignored.

sarahsweets
06-12-17, 06:01 AM
How would you ever be able to tell?

Based on my friendship with lots of people with and without ADHD going through college, I'd say the ADHD-ish dysfunctions from high school graduation to college graduation become bigger in everybody, including neurotypicals.

For that matter, a lot of the books on ADHD claim that if a person got a 4 year degree in 4 years, it's pretty unlikely they had ADHD in the first place!
Those books are wrong. There are mounds of evidence disproving this idea.


You'd have to restrict the investigation to people who've had surgery or anaesthaesia (sp?) WITHOUT any other type of life-changing event (graduation, new job, move to new city, changing romantic partner etc) over the same period of time. College years are massively life-changing anyway, so it's probably the worst time to use if you're trying to blame something on anything other than life-changing events.

I love how you label people who are looking for connections based on their own experiences as blaming. This is the same thing as victim shaming. Changing life circumstances have nothing to do with whether or not you have adhd. These circumstances and make adhd more prevalent but you are not going to suddenly develop adhd. You had it along and didnt have a label for it. You probably blamed yourself for being stupid and lazy because you didnt understand adhd.

mildadhd
06-14-17, 07:25 PM
1)Surgeries certainly could be considered distressful experiences and make things worse.

2)Anaesthesias certainly could be considered distressful experiences and make things worse.

3)Especially people born with more sensitive temperaments' to distresses.



m