In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, investigators find that “Patients in medical and surgical ICUs are at high risk for long-term cognitive impairment. A longer duration of delirium in the hospital was associated with worse global cognition and executive function scores at 3 and 12 months.” Even younger patients below 49 years tested after 12 months, 34% scored similar to to patients with moderate traumatic brain injury and 20% scored as if they had mild Alzheimer’s disease. The investigators note “Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, however, which affects delayed memory much more than other domains, long-term cognitive impairment after critical illness tended to affect multiple cognitive domains.”

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