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Brain Deficits Higher in Seniors Who Survive Blood Poisoning
Date:10/26/2010

ial, under-recognized public health problem, with major implications for patients, families and the health-care system," Dr. Theodore J. Iwashyna, of the University of Michigan Medical School, and colleagues, said in a news release.

They said hundreds of thousands of people develop severe sepsis each year in the United States, and nearly 20,000 new cases per year of moderate to severe cognitive impairment in elderly people may be due to sepsis.

"Thus, an episode of severe sepsis, even when survived, may represent a sentinel event in the lives of patients and their families, resulting in new and often persistent disability, in some cases even resembling dementia," the researchers wrote.

"Future research to identify mechanisms leading from sepsis to cognitive impairment and functional disability -- and interventions to prevent or slow these accelerated declines -- is especially important now given the aging of the population," they concluded.

The study appears in the Oct. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The Society of Critical Care Medicine has more about sepsis.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, Oct. 26, 2010.


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