Skip to main content

Effects of Anesthesia on Cognition and Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers


This study will examine the effects of anesthesia on cognition and certain Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in older adults who undergo surgery. Two types of anesthesia, propofol and isoflurane, will be compared.


Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years N/A Both No
November 2013
February 2019

  • Surgical patient
  • Surgery scheduled to last at least 2 hours, including time for anesthesia induction
  • Ability to speak English

  • Inmate of a correctional facility
  • Pregnancy
  • Documented or suspected family or personal history of malignant hyperthermia
  • Inability to receive either propofol or isoflurane due to allergy or other specific contraindication

In this study, researchers will compare the effects of two types of anesthesia on memory and other types of thinking during the 6 weeks after surgery in older individuals. They will also examine the impact on Alzheimer's disease biomarkers, specifically levels of the proteins tau and amyloid in cerebrospinal fluid, during the first 24 hours and 6 weeks after surgery.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Duke University Medical Center
Durham North Carolina 27710 Recruiting Miles Berger, MD, PhD

Duke University

Name Role Affiliation
Miles Berger, MD, PhD Principal Investigator Duke University Medical Center, Anesthesiology Department, Neuroanesthesia Division

Name Phone Email
Miles Berger, MD, PhD
Alicia Pucci


Markers of Alzheimers Disease and Cognitive Outcomes After Propofol or Isoflurane Anesthesia