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Gum disease, anesthesia linked to mental decline

from Idaho Statesman

You probably remember actor Peter Falk as the cigar-chomping TV detective Lt. Columbo, the cop who inevitably arrived at the scene of a high-society crime in a wheezing jalopy and a rumpled raincoat. But did you know that Falk, who had Alzheimer's and died recently at age 83, couldn't remember the role he made famous? And did you know that his mental decline has been linked to gum disease and general anesthesia? Columbo was famous for being relentless. He caught smooth criminals off-guard with his signature "Ahh, there's just one more thing." In this case, the "one more thing" Drs. Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen want to stick with you is that general anesthesia can be risky for older brains — and for very young ones, too. Handle with the same care Columbo handled his beloved old car. more

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