Patients with intense intensity who have non-brain-related injuries can suffer from undetected cognitive impairment


Patients with intense intensity who have non-brain-related injuries can suffer from undetected cognitive impairment

A new study, led by Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute, showed that most patients entering intensive care units (ICUs) for injuries or illnesses that are not brain-related also suffer for a certain degree with this associated cognitive dysfunction, which is currently unclear in most cases.

The findings were published today in an influential scientific journal, PLOS ONE.

Many patients spend time at intense intensities for reasons that have nothing to do with known brain damage, and most healthcare professionals and carers have no evidence to believe that there is a problem with the brain. For example, a patient may have a traumatic injury that does not involve the brain, but still requires breathing support to allow surgeons to repair damaged organs, may have heart or lung problems, serious infections may occur, or can easily recover after a surgical procedure such as a transplant of an organ that has nothing to do with their brains.

For the study, Western researchers from Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Lawson Institute of Brain and Mind and Researchers evaluated 20 such patients when they left intensive care, and each individual patient had detectable cognitive deficiencies in two or more cognitive fields of the study, including with memory, attention, decision making and reasoning. This is despite the fact that at first glance they did not have clear brain damage.

We discovered this by using online tests developed by renowned Western neuroscientist Adrian Owen and his team at the Brain and Mind and BrainsCAN Institute, originally designed to study cognitive abilities in patients with brain injuries, but for this purpose they are used to detect cognitive deficits in people who have spent time in an intensive care unit without diagnosed brain damage.

"Many people spend time in the intensive care unit after brain damage and often lack memory, attention, decision-making and other cognitive functions," explains Owen, professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. . "In this study we were interested in how patients without a specific brain injury after leaving the ICU became wonderful."

Why is the decrease in cognitive ability even in non-investment visits to the intensive care unit is likely to vary from patient to patient, but dr. Kimia Honarmand from Schulich Medicine & Dentistry says that it is necessary to learn a lesson that many conditions affect the functioning of the brain, although they may not directly involve the brain.

"If you have difficulty breathing, your brain can lose oxygen. If you have a serious infection, the inflammation that occurs as a result of the infection may affect the functioning of the brain. you have procedures that can affect your breathing, which can affect the flow of oxygen into your brain, "explains Dr. Honarmand. "We have shown here that all or any of these events can lead to deficits in the functioning of the brain, which are seen as a disorder in cognition." Healthy cognition is a key determinant of functional recovery. "

Dr. Marat Slessarev, Lawson's scientist, says that these findings can change how the medical community treats incoming patients and, more importantly, outpatients after visiting the ICU.

"Historically, there has been a clinical emphasis on survival, but now we can focus on good survival," says Dr. Slessarev, also an associate member of the Brain and Mind Institute and an assistant professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. "These sensitive tests will allow physicians to detect cognitive disorders and monitor cognitive performance over a longer period of time, which is the first step in the development of optimization processes for brain recovery."


MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, senior media relations officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, 519-520-7281 (mobile), [email protected], @ jeffrenaud99


The Western University provides an academic experience. Western experience since 1878 combines academic excellence with lifelong opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives detection using the real world. The West attracts individuals with a broad world view who seek to study, influence and lead the international community.


Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the Western University is one of Canadian top medical and dental schools. It was founded in 1881 and was one of the founding schools of the Western University and is known as the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the school has shown commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discoveries.


As a research institute of the London Health Sciences Center and St. Joseph's Health Care London, and in collaboration with the Western University, the Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to promoting scientific knowledge to improve healthcare around the world.

This story was published on: 2019-04-13. To contact the author, use the contact information in the article.


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