Genetic predictors of perioperative neurological and cognitive injury and recovery

Mark F. Newman, John V. Booth, Daniel T. Laskowitz, Debra A. Schwinn, Hilary P. Grocott, Joseph P. Mathew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In most investigations, genetic and environmental factors have been shown to interact in altering the progression of ageing related disease including stroke and cognitive decline. The perioperative period appears to be no different, with environmental (operative) and genetic factors interacting to determine the presence, absence or severity of neurological outcomes. In our initial work we confirmed that apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) alters cognitive function after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), the mechanism of this association apparently being related to atherosclerosis and inflammatory factors. These findings are consistent with multiple studies that have shown an important role of apoE in the modulation of neurological injury and recovery following a variety of acute ischaemic insults including intra-cerebral haemorrhage, closed head injury, acute stroke and dementia pugilistica. More recently we have found that polymorphism of the GPIIIa constituent of the platelet integrin receptor, GIIb/IIIa (PLA2) polymorphism is also associated with early postoperative cognitive decline. The association of multiple genetic factors with the incidence or severity of neurological injury is not surprising, since the factors that alter cerebral injury and recovery are complex. Similarly, there are genetic factors that determine the occurrence of tissue injury and its recovery, including genes that modulate atherosclerosis, emboli, inflammation, thrombosis and vascular reactivity. We have only begun to scratch the surface in our understanding of functional genomics as it applies to perioperative outcomes. Functional genomics, as applied to complex human disease, will require a unique combination of cutting-edge genetics and large, highly phenotyped patient populations in order to further our understanding of the complex genetic-environmental interactions. This chapter will concentrate initially on the broad classes of genetic factors that may play a role in neurological injury and recovery, and will conclude with our current data on those genetic factors that predict neurocognitive decline after cardiac surgery and the potential mechanisms driving these associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-276
Number of pages30
JournalBest Practice and Research in Clinical Anaesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by: NIH grant RO1 AG09663, NIH grant 1R01 HL54316, American Heart Association grant-in-aid 95010970, NIH grant R01 AG16762, NIH M01-RR-30. This is a publication from Duke University Medical Centre.


  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Inflammation
  • Neurocognitive dysfunction
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic predictors of perioperative neurological and cognitive injury and recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this