Heart Bypass Surgery Can Cause Brain Loss

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Heart Bypass Surgery Can Cause Brain Loss

by Terry Myers Smith

02/08/2001 – AP In a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine, patients who undergo heart bypass surgery experience a loss of mental ability. It is common for this to occur immediately following surgery but the patients were thought to recover quickly. The new study revealed that the recovery period is short lived and the patients tend to lose about 20 percent of their mental ability in the five years after surgery.

The cause of this diminished mental capacity remains a mystery, but some doctors theorize it could be related to patients being placed on a heart-lung machine. The machine substitutes the heart’s function in circulating blood through the patient’s body during surgery. Of the 400,000 people a year placed on the heart lung machine for bypass surgery, 160,000 of them risk losing some mental ability.

Dr. Irving L. Kron, chief of cardiac and thoracic surgery at the University of Virginia School Of Medicine was quoted as saying; “It may be the stress of the operation brings things out or pushes things along that were there to start with.” However, Dr. Mark F. Newman, who led the study by the New England Journal of Medicine said that the research appeared to prove that the brain problems were less in surgeries where the heart-lung machine was not used.

Participants in the study were tested in the areas of memory, attention, concentration, and manual dexterity, five times: before the surgery, when they left the hospital, at six weeks and six months after, and five years later. Fifty-six percent did significantly worse when released from the hospital than when they were admitted. Half of the people went back to preoperative levels when tested six months later. But at five years they were back to the levels they were at when they originally left the hospital.

 Word of God sharper than swordANALYSIS: The Bible tells us that “the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4:12 Therefore the heart has the power to have thoughts and to have intentions, or make choices. Though the Scientific reasons for the discovery of brain function loss from heart surgery may be explained by blood flow or air deprivation, this phenomenon of lost intellectual ability shows the reality that the heart is truly a seat of thought and conceptual faculties. The human heart has the capacity to both think and will. The soul is the seat of the mind and emotions, but the spirit is the seat of the conscience and the will. The word of God, we are told, is an instrument which is able to divide the two from each other, thereby allowing man to hear more clearly the voice of the spirit. Is it possible that when the heart is tampered with the part of our intelligence connected with the spirit is also hindered in some way not yet understood by science?


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