Investigation of neural mechanisms of COgnitive DEcline after Cardiac surgery with resting state fMRI: A Pilot study (The CODEC study)

Funder: Above and Beyond Grant

Sponsor: University Hospitals Bristol  

IRAS number: 247211

Status: In analysis

Cognitive impairment is common after cardiac surgery, particularly in older people. Up to six in every 10 patients who undergo cardiac surgery have some degree of cognitive impairment six months after their surgery. The mechanisms involved are unclear. Recent research in brain imaging has identified some regions of the brain involved in learning and memory which are working when the brain is “at rest”, that is when the subject is not performing an explicit cognitive task. These brain networks, so called “resting state networks”, represent the baseline, or default, mode of the brain. Brain imaging studies have shown that when the activity of resting state networks is reduced, patients are more likely to develop cognitive impairment. There is currently limited evidence to suggest whether cardiac surgery causes damage to resting state networks thus leading to cognitive impairment. The CODEC study will investigate change in resting state networks in 20 patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass using functional brain magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It will also look at whether changes in these networks correlate with changes in cognitive function.

Patients who consent will be required to undergo two fMRI scans and neuro-cognitive assessments. The neuro-cognitive tests will assess memory, co-ordination and levels of attention. Patients will have the first scan and neuro-cognitive assessments pre-surgery and the second scan and assessments will take place post-surgery (approximately 6 weeks post surgery). We will also collect information on clinical outcomes after surgery.

Contact Information

Senior Research Fellow: Dr Maria Pufulete