BRAIN-ICU-2

Bringing to light the Risk factors And Incidence of Neuropsychological dysfunction (dementia) in ICU Survivors, 2nd Study

We know that millions of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, both young and old around the world, suffer from long lasting brain problems after they are cared for during critical illness. These brain problems mainly have to do with bad memory and being unable to pay attention, and we call this dementia. The dementia causes new limitations that often harm daily life such as problems driving, managing money, taking medication, planning vacations, using a computer, and so on. While it is good that we are now recognizing this problem more often, we do not know the actual cause or type of dementia.

Strong predictors of the dementia include confusion in the ICU (delirium), pre-existing minor forms of dementia that the patient was already suffering from, and the sedative drugs given to patients while they are sick in the ICU. In the BRAIN-ICU-2 Study, we will determine the type of dementia that ICU survivors are suffering from and get a better understanding of future ways to reduce this problem globally. This study, pending funding by the National Institute of Aging, will greatly increase current knowledge and pave the way for preventive programs, strategic rehabilitation, and targeted future interventions that we hope will eventually improve the lives of people after intensive care.