Hearts and Minds

Doctors knew about the mental fog that can set in after a bypass. But who knew it could come back?

For 15 years David Rasmussen, 72, a retired airline dispatcher living in Clarksville, Va., had solved at least one crossword puzzle a day. But for a while after he underwent double-bypass surgery at Duke University Medical Center last October, Rasmussen hardly glanced at his beloved crosswords. "I found it hard to concentrate," Rasmussen recalls. "All I wanted to do was sit around and watch television."

You could hardly blame him. After all, Rasmussen had had his chest cracked open, his heart stitched up and was swimming in painkillers. Is it any wonder that he--and 30% to 80% of the more...

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