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Zhongcong Xie, MD, PhD

  • Phone: 617-724-9308
Departments
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Clinical Interests
Thoracic and regional anesthesia
Obstetric anesthesia
Locations
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
PhD, Wayne State University School of Medicine
MD, Xuzhou Medical College
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Anesthesiology, American Board of Anesthesiology
Gender
Male
Foreign Languages
Chinese
Patient Age Group
Adult
Accepting New Patients
Yes

Biography

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the greatest public health problems in the US, and its impact will only increase with demographic changes anticipated in the coming decades. Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), a disorder including impairment of learning and memory following anesthesia and surgery, can significantly affect post-operative recovery of patients. The short-term and long-term effects of general anesthesia on aging brain function represent a burgeoning area of research interest.

The long-term mission of our lab (The Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit) is to improve the perioperative experience of the elderly patient undergoing surgery. Our research focus on determining the neuropathogenesis of AD and POCD, and assessing the potential neurotoxicity of anesthesia. Specifically, we study the effects of anesthetics on apoptosis, cell death, beta-amyloid protein metabolism and neuroinflammation in cultured cells, animals and humans.

Research

Research Areas

  • Investigating the neuropathogenesis of Alzheime?s disease and Postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
  • Studying neurotoxicity of anesthetics and other perioperative factors, e.g., pain and sleep deprivation.
  • Assessing cognitive function and postoperative delirium in humans.

Description of Research 

Our own laboratory studies have suggested that perioperative factors such as hypoxia, hypocapnia, surgery, anesthetics, sleep deprivation and pain may contribute to neuropathogenesis of Alzheime?s disease (AD), postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), and delirium. Future projects in the Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at MGH will explore the nature of the relationship between these perioperative factors and AD, work that may shed more light on AD neuropathogenesis; we will investigate the perioperative factors associated with POCD and attempt to establish a possible association between these factors and delirium. Our work proceeds at both the cellular and molecular levels in cultured cells, neurons, mice and human subjects, and we employ such techniques as somatic gene transfer, genetic modification of animal models, RNA interference, RT-PCR, and immunocytochemistry; we also use various pharmacological tools and behavioral evaluations (e.g., Morris Water Maze and Fear Conditioning Test) when these are indicated. These efforts may illustrate whether general anesthesia, surgery and other perioperative factors can initiate or accelerate the development of AD, POCD and delirium. The results of these studies will ultimately guide clinicians with regard to how to provide the safest anesthesia care for patients.

PublicationsView publications

Featured Doctor: Zhongcong Xie

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Zhongcong Xie, MD.

Study reveals how anesthetic isoflurane induces Alzheimer's-like changes in mammalian brains

The association of the inhaled anesthetic isoflurane with Alzheimer's-disease-like changes in mammalian brains may by caused by the drug's effects on mitochondria, the structures in which most cellular energy is produced.

Neuroinflammation may be behind general-anesthesia-associated learning disabilities

Two studies in mice suggest that several factors may combine to induce impairments in learning and memory, accompanied by the inflammation of brain tissue, in young mammals receiving general anesthesia and that the offspring of animals that received general anesthesia during pregnancy may show the same effects.

Postoperative pain may increase risk of temporary problems with learning, memory

The pain caused by a surgical incision may contribute to the risk of postoperative cognitive dysfunction, a sometimes transient impairment in learning and memory that affects a small but significant number of patients in the days following a surgical procedure.

Postoperative pain may increase risk of temporary problems with learning, memory

The pain caused by a surgical incision may contribute to the risk of postoperative cognitive dysfunction, a sometimes transient impairment in learning and memory that affects a small but significant number of patients in the days following a surgical procedure.

Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-724-9308
Phone 2: 617-724-3104
Fax: 617-643-9277

Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-724-9308
Phone 2: 617-724-3104
Fax: 617-643-9277

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