Dr. Claims “Bill Clinton’s Madness result of Heart-Bypass Surgery”
We Need to Understand and Show Some Compassion according to Dr. John McDougall!!
One of the savviest politicians of our generation, known for his wit, charm, and calm under extreme pressure, Bill Clinton appears out of character in the speeches and interviews televised since his bypass surgery September 6, 2004 and his mental deterioration may be accelerating. Remember, this is the president who withstood public impeachment before the entire world for his relationship with Monica Lewinski without once losing control. Now, he is easily angered by hecklers, and makes factual mistakes and racial slurs while aggressively defending his wife’s campaign for presidency. Everyone sees his mental and emotional decline, yet to date, no medical professionals have spoken out about the cause or offered help.
Bill Clinton Not a single one — not one bypass surgeon, cardiologist or psychiatrist — has stepped forward in his defense; even though all of them are trained to recognize “post bypass surgery cognitive dysfunction.” One of the best-kept secrets in medicine is the brain damage caused during bypass surgery. During my 40 years of medical practice I have never heard a doctor warn a patient before bypass surgery that an expected complication is memory loss. After surgery when the family complains of dad’s fits of anger, I have never heard a doctor admit that personality change is a common consequence of surgery. Yet these well-recognized side effects have been reported in medical journals since 1969.1
Brain damage during bypass surgery is so common that hospital personnel refer to it as “pump head.” The primary cause is emboli produced during surgery from clamping the aorta and from the “heart-lung machine.” This machine pumps blood to keep the patient alive while the heart is stopped during the operation. Unfortunately, this pump also introduces toxic gases, fat globules, and bits of plastic debris into the bloodstream of the patient under anesthesia. Once they are in the bloodstream, these particles migrate to the brain where they can clog capillaries and prevent adequate amounts of blood and oxygen from flowing to the brain. Essentially, all patients experience brain emboli during surgery and for many the damage is permanent.
Also, In 2001, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 5-years after bypass surgery 42% of patients showed decline in mental function of approximately 20 percent or more.2 A study published this year (2008) in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery using MRI testing just after bypass surgery found brain damage in 51% of patients.3 Three years after their time on the bypass pump, significant permanent reduction in mental capacity was identified in 31% of patients. I am not talking major stroke here; but these patients can’t remember names or numbers as they once did, experience sleep disturbances (including nightmares), suffer mood swings, and lose intellectual acuity. Approximately 30 percent of people suffer persistent depression and some even contemplate suicide.
Dr John McDougall was also quoted in the Wall street Journal : http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB121304603861058495. However, in the same article reported: Aides to Bill Clinton last week vehemently denied speculation that the former president’s intemperate remarks on the campaign trail were due to mild cognitive damage from his quadruple-bypass surgery in 2004.
“This theory is false and is flatly rejected by President Clinton’s doctors, who say he is in excellent shape….” the statement said.
In an article “Bypass surgery and memory” published by Harvard Health Publications in 2006, they pointed out that the effects of Bypass surgery on memory was not as rampant as some claim and was more of a short term effect.
Just how common post-bypass mental changes are, how long they last, and what causes them has never been crystal clear.
At one end of the spectrum is a study from Duke University Medical Center, published in 2001. It indicated that half of people undergoing bypass surgery developed memory or thinking problems in the days following it, and that these problems were usually still evident five years later.
At the other end of the spectrum are studies showing no long-term effects
Two Johns Hopkins researchers who have been at the forefront of this field reviewed the evidence on short-term and long-term mental changes after bypass surgery. They found that short-term confusion, memory loss, and poorer problem solving and information processing are common after bypass surgery, but are usually temporary and reversible. Most people return to their pre-bypass level of function between 3 and 12 weeks after surgery.
Long-term changes occur, too, but these are usually mild and tend to affect things such as how fast you can solve problems or process information. The authors suggest that these changes probably arise from changes in the brain caused by atherosclerosis. They also acknowledge that it isn’t possible right now to determine whether these changes are caused by bypass surgery, normal aging, the slow development of Alzheimer’s disease, the mini-strokes of vascular dementia, or other causes.
In a more recent article from Harvard Health Publications (2015)
Bypass surgery an “uncommon” cause of memory loss, cognitive decline – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publications
Howard LeWine, M.D., Chief Medical Editor Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) offers a new lease on life for thousands of people each year whose hearts aren’t getting the blood they need to work properly. But it has also been blamed for “brain fog,” a loss of memory and thinking skills that follows the procedure in some people. Such brain problems are often called cognitive impairment.The operation itself may not be to blame, according to a review in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine. For the review, a team of researchers—mostly from the U. S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs—synthesized data from 17 clinical trials and four well-designed observational studies of adults ages 65 and older. Most of these study participants had undergone CABG, but some had had other heart-related procedures—usually to replace a valve or treat atrial fibrillation.The researchers concluded that intermediate and long-term cognitive impairment after cardiovascular procedures “may be uncommon.” That said, they recommend that anyone thinking about open-heart surgery or other major cardiovascular procedure should discuss the possibility of cognitive impairment with his or her surgeon.
There’s little dispute that heart surgery does cause short-term cognitive problems — anesthesia alone can do that, particularly in older patients. But recent studies suggest that the cognitive decline years later may be due more to the underlying artery disease than to the effects of surgery.
Another recent finding is that some patient that have undergone Bypass surgery experience symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Interestingly enough, memory loss and cognitive decline is also a common symptoms of PTSD!
Please see previously published article: What do Heart Bypass Patients and Iraq War Veterans Have in Common!?
In any case some studies show that vitamin D can help boost ones memory.
Vitamin D prevents cognitive decline and enhances according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The Los Angeles times in an article reported that: The supplement appears to boost the machinery that helps recycle and repackage signaling chemicals that help neurons communicate with one another in a part of the brain that is central to memory and learning. “This process is like restocking shelves in grocery stores,” said study co-author Nada Porter, a biomedical pharmacologist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Neurons also are better able to receive and process those signals in ways that are connected with memory formation and retrieval, the study found. The improvements in memory were associated with a level of a vitamin D metabolite that is about 50% higher than the one recommended by the Institute of Medicine to maintain healthy bones, but in line with what other experts recommend, according to Porter.