Open Actively Recruiting

Blood Brain Barrier Dysfunction and Postoperative Neurocognitive Disorders


Brief Summary

Postoperative neurocognitive disorders (PND), which include postoperative delirium and both acute and longlasting neurocognitive deficits, are a significant public health problem, leading to a cascade of deleterious complications. Older adults are particularly at-risk of developing PND both in the short and long term. Although age is consistently reported as an important risk factor, the exact pathophysiology of PND remains poorly understood, but may include postsurgery-compromised blood brain barrier (BBB) function. This project proposes that perioperative BBB dysfunction is associated with measurable brain morphologic findings in cognitive control areas that can be discovered with non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients scheduled for surgery with an age range of 65-75 years of age, will participate in brain diffusion-weighted pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (DW-pCASL) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), cognitive assessments, and evaluation of a BBB marker from blood (at baseline, at two weeks, and at six months after surgery).

All patients will have a brain scan (MRI) within before surgery and two weeks and six months after surgery. During this visit cognitive function will be assessed. Patients will also be asked to participate in a blood draw.

Study Type


Healthy Volunteers
Minimum Age
65 Years
Maximum Age
75 Years

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 65-75 years old
  • Scheduled for abdominal, gynecologic or urological surgery

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects undergoing surgery with a previous history of stroke, myocardial infarction, current pregnancy (if female), diagnosed neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric diseases, airway or chest deformities that would interfere with breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, presence of space-occupying brain lesions, any history of drug abuse (e.g., cocaine or tobacco use), chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis.
  • Body weight >300 pounds (restrictions of MRI scanner table).
  • All subjects with any contraindication to the MRI procedures, such as metallic and electronic implants (phrenic or cardiac pacemakers), claustrophobia, metallic-based tattoos, will also be excluded. Non-english speaking patients will also be excluded as the cognitive tests have not been validated in other languages.

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Study Stats
Protocol No.
Brain/Neurological Diseases
Principal Investigator
Rajesh Kumar
Megan Carrier
  • UCLA Westwood
For Providers
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