BACKGROUND: Cognitive dysfunction in the early postoperative course is common for the elderly population. Anesthetic management may affect postoperative cognitive decline. Effective analgesia, early recovery and modulation of the stress response are advantages of neuraxial blocks. This study aims to compare the effects of general anesthesia and the combination of general anesthesia with epidural analgesia for postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). We hypothesized that neuraxial block combined with general anesthesia (GA) would have a favorable influence on POCD prevention.