American Society of Anesthesiologists®

Perioperative Brain Health Initiative

Promoting brain health for older adults around the time of surgery

Our Mission

To arm physician anesthesiologists and other clinicians involved in perioperative care, as well as hospitals, patients and their families caring for older surgical patients with the tools and resources necessary to optimize the cognitive recovery and perioperative experience for adults 65 years and older undergoing surgery.

  • We use the term “cognitive recovery” as a general term which includes prevention of delirium and return to baseline cognitive performance.
  • Two major forms of cognitive disturbance after anesthesia and surgery are delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
  • Delirium is a clinical diagnosis given to patients with an acute attentional deficit which waxes and wanes.
  • Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (“POCD”) is a research construction, (not a diagnosis,) and involves defining a negative change from the patient’s preoperative cognitive performance on a neuropsychologic battery of tests.
Definitions & Terms  

Postoperative delirium is the most common surgical complication for older adults.

And it is preventable in up to 40% of all patients.

Learn more  

Tools & Resources

Ensure widespread early adoption of the simplest evidence based methods of cognitive protection.

Thank You Industry Supporters

Whose contributions help to strengthen the Society and the anesthesia community providing world-class education and resources to enhance patient care and outcomes.