The increasing public awareness of postoperative cognitive problems has, in part, led to the ASA Brain Health Initiative. This multi-pronged initiative will include research into definitions of risk factors for and best practices to avoid these disorders. We would like to take this opportunity to tell ASA Monitor readers about activities and ongoing discussions in this area.

First, a challenge facing cognitive decline research has been the lack of uniformity or agreement over measurements and definitions. Thus, an international nomenclature group is working on consensus definitions for what has become known as postoperative cognitive decline (POCD). This work is necessary because different research groups have used different criteria to define POCD, and often in different cognitive domains (executive function, memory, etc.). These divergent definitions have made it difficult to compare results across different studies. Further, just like...

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