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Can Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction Be Prevented

| Research

Richard A. Neubauer, M.D.,1 Charles Golden, Ph.D.2 1Medical Director, Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center in Lauderdale-by-the Sea, FL. 2Professor of Neuropsychology, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Vol. 10 No. 1, Spring 2005

Summary: A controlled study of the effect of pre- and postoperative HBOT treatment on postoperative cognitive disfunction (POCD) would probably be necessary before widespread adoption of the practice could occur in the United States. There are many barriers. The 600 hyperbaric centers that exist in the United States are primarily devoted to the 14 conditions covered by Medicare. Research funding is mostly devoted to pharmaceutical interventions. With the rapid aging of the U.S. population, the substantial burden of caring for cognitively impaired older persons and increasing recognition of POCD may finally provide the stimulus needed for performance of research on neurologic applications of HBOT.

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