A research team that includes Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine has been awarded more than $10 million to improve cognitive recovery of post-operative delirium patients. Delirium occurs when a person is suddenly confused, disoriented, and not able to think or remember clearly.
The researchers say it affects up to 50% of hospitalized older adults undergoing emergency surgery.
The team, which also includes researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, will evaluate the effectiveness of the collaborative care model to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias
“Surgical patients who suffer one episode of delirium have 12 times the likelihood of developing an Alzheimer’s or related dementia diagnoses within a year compared to similar surgical patients who do not experience delirium,” said Malaz Boustani, M.D., a Regenstrief research scientist and faculty for IU School of Medicine. “We want to use our collaborative care model – Emergency General Surgery Delirium Recovery Model – to intervene and prevent ADRD among delirium survivors.”
Boustani says it is common for patients to experience grogginess and some confusion coming out of anesthesia, but post-operative delirium is far different and much more serious. Sometimes it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.
The five-year grant comes from the National Institutes of Health.