Brief cardiac arrest? Tend to the heart, but don't neglect the brain

Patients who survive a brief cardiac arrest and who appear neurologically intact should nonetheless receive a detailed neuropsychological assessment before being discharged, suggests a joint study by researchers at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute (RRI) and Israel's Rambam Medical Center. The study, recently published in the journal Resuscitation, found that patients discharged in "good neurological condition" after a brief cardiac arrest (when the heart suddenly stops beating normally and cannot pump blood effectively) had significant memory problems and a 10 to 20 per cent reduction in size of their brain's memory region, the hippocampus. Individuals who performed worse on memory tests...

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