How does sudden cardiac arrest affect overall cognitive brain function?

Q. How does sudden cardiac arrest affect overall cognitive brain function?

Answered by
Dr. Ilir Sharka
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 03, 2018 and last reviewed on: Jun 09, 2023

Hello doctor,

Sudden cardiac arrest and its effects of blood flow and depleted oxygen to the brain, brain shock, lack of nutrients as well as production of toxic material that can no longer be cleared by circulation since it is no longer functioning. How does all of this affect overall cognitive brain function? Please answer.



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Sudden cardiac arrest and prolonged brain hypoxia can lead to brain ischemic encephalopathy. The severity of the disorder is proportional to the duration of hypoxia and cardiac resuscitation. In case of a short period, only some troubles with concentration may occur. While in case of prolonged hypoxia, severe cognitive impairment and motor deficits in the limbs may occur. In some cases, the patient may be in vegetative state (without conscience, but the patient opens his eyes, makes spontaneous movements, but he is not alert and does not respond to external stimulation).

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