Navigation Links
Neuroinflammation may be behind general-anesthesia-associated learning disabilities

Several studies have found evidence that children who undergo repeated surgical operations with general anesthesia before the age of 4 may be at an increased risk for learning disabilities. In the March issue of Anesthesiology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report an animal study indicating that several factors age, the specific anesthetic agent used and the number of doses combine to induce impairments in learning and memory accompanied by the inflammation of brain tissue. An accompanying paper from the same team finds that the offspring of mice that received a specific anesthetic gas during pregnancy also showed the effects of neuroinflammation and impaired learning. Both articles have been released online.

"We found that different anesthetic drugs sevoflurane but not desflurane had different effects on neuroinflammation and on learning and memory function in young mice," says Zhongcong Xie, MD, PhD, corresponding author of both studies and director of the Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. "If they are confirmed by future studies in animals and humans, these findings would suggest that some anesthetics may be safer than others in young children and indicate ways to reduce risks."

In the first study co-led by Xia Shen, MD, PhD, and Yuanlin Dong, MD, MS, both of MGH Anesthesia the investigators treated two groups of 6-day-old mice with sevoflurane, the most commonly used general anesthetic. One group received a single two-hour dose of the drug, while the other received the same dose on three subsequent days. In a standardized assessment of learning and memory conducted 24 days later, the mice that had received three doses did significantly less well than a control group at learning the location of a platform in a shallow pool of water and then remembering where the platform had been after it was removed. Analysis of their brain tissue showed elevated levels of several markers of inflammation.

Mice that received only one dose of sevoflurane showed neither neuroinflammation nor cognitive impairment compared with the control group. No adverse effects were seen in either adult mice that received three doses of sevoflurane or in young mice that received three doses of desflurane, another commonly used anesthetic. Two strategies preanesthesia treatment with an anti-inflammatory drug and placing the young animals in an enriched environment cages that featured ladders, wheels and mazes each appeared to reduce the negative effects of three doses of sevoflurane.

The second study co-led by Hui Zheng, MD, PhD, of MGH Anesthesia and Dong exposed a group of pregnant female mice to a single two-hour dose of sevoflurane when two-thirds through the gestation period. In assessments conducted 30 days after the females gave birth, offspring of those that received sevoflurane showed evidence of impaired learning and memory, compared with a control group. In addition, analysis of the brain tissue of fetal mice, taken right after the pregnant mice received the sevoflurane dose, and of month-old offspring showed elevated inflammatory markers and other signs of neurotoxicity including a reduction in the number of brain synapses compared with control offspring. As in the first study, placing a group of anesthesia-exposed pregnant mice and then their offspring into an enriched environment appeared to reduce both the neuroinflammatory and behavioral effects on the offspring of prenatal exposure to sevoflurane.

"Six million children undergo surgery each year in the U.S., and the possibility that anesthesia and surgery could increase the risk for learning disabilities is a major concern for both the medical community and the general public," says Xie, an associate professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. "We hope our findings will promote more research into anesthesia neurotoxicity in the developing brain, ultimately leading to safer anesthesia care and better postoperative outcomes for children." Support for both studies includes grants R21AG029856, R21AG038994, R01GM088801 and R01AG041274 from the National Institutes of Health, along with grants from the Alzheimer's Association and the Cure Alzheimer's Fund and support from the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine.

Contact: Sue McGreevey
Massachusetts General Hospital

Related medicine news :

1. Gene Behind Psoriasis Identified, Researchers Say
2. Researchers gain better understanding of mechanism behind tau spreading in the brain
3. New global report says US lags behind 130 other nations in preterm birth rate
4. New American Chemical Society video: Behind the scenes tour of an electronic nose lab
5. Fruit flies reveal mechanism behind ALS-like disease
6. The Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates Alert Public of CDC Survey Revealing Majority of High School Seniors Admitting to Texting Behind Wheel
7. Superpowered Bacteria May Lurk Behind Sinus Infections
8. Scientists Focus on Factors Behind Asthma Attacks
9. Lab Contamination Behind Debunked Link Between Virus, Prostate Cancer
10. Greenish-Black Contaminant in Vials of Steroid Behind Meningitis Outbreak: FDA
11. Unlocking the genetic mysteries behind stillbirth
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic ... World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. ... some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed Care ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily ... make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses ... medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in the ... the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... "The World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics The World ... diagnostic and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report ... Diagnostics Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: