Navigation Links
Penn study sheds light on how the brain shifts between sleep/awake states under anesthesia
Date:8/26/2010

(PHILADELPHIA) Despite the fact that an estimated 25 million patients per year in the U.S. undergo surgeries using general anesthesia, scientists have only been able to hypothesize exactly how anesthetics interact with the central nervous system. They previously thought that the processes of "going under" and waking up from anesthesia affected the brain in the same way. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have established in animal models that the brain comes in and out of a state of induced unconsciousness through different processes. The findings, published in PLoS One, may help researchers better understand serious sleep disorders and states of impaired consciousness such as comas.

"One major unanswered question in neuroscience is how the brain transitions between conscious and unconscious states," said senior author Max B. Kelz, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care. "Our results suggest that the brain keeps track of whether it is conscious or offline in an unconscious state. We are working to understand the mechanisms through which the brain accomplishes this feat. Studying general anesthetics in animal models offers a controllable means to investigate this newly recognized behavioral barrier that separates conscious from unconscious states."

Induction of anesthesia is commonly attributed to drug-induced modifications of neuronal function, whereas emergence from anesthesia has been thought to occur passively, with the elimination of the anesthetic from sites in the central nervous system (CNS). If this were true, then CNS anesthetic concentrations on induction and emergence would be indistinguishable.

However, by generating anesthetic dose response data in both fruit flies and mice, the researchers demonstrated that the forward and reverse paths through which anesthetic-induced unconsciousness arises and dissipates are not identical. Instead the animal subjects exhibited a delay in return to a state of consciousness despite the reduced concentration of the anesthetic.

The researchers observed that once a group of animal subjects underwent a transition from wakefulness to anesthetic-induced unconsciousness, the subjects exhibited resistance to the return of the wakeful state. Based on their findings, the authors propose a fundamental and biologically conserved state, which they call neural inertia, a tendency of the CNS to resist transitions between consciousness and unconsciousness.

"The findings from this study may provide insights into the regulation of sleep as well as states in which return of consciousness is pathologically impaired such as some types of coma," said Kelz. "This line of research may one day help us to develop novel anesthetic drugs and targeted therapies for patients who have different forms of sleep disorders or who have the potential to awaken from coma but remain stuck in comatose states for months or years."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessica Mikulski
jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-8369
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Links Gene to Serious Eye Disease
2. Study Suggests Statins Could Help Some With Normal Cholesterol
3. Heart Risks the Same With 2 Diabetes Drugs: Study
4. Mayo researchers develop new laboratory cell lines to study treatment for ATC
5. Herpes Drugs Wont Raise Birth Defect Risk, Study Finds
6. Mumps vaccine coverage should be improved, study finds
7. Study Suggests Link Between Diet Sodas, Preterm Delivery
8. Study suggests oxytocin makes people trusting, but not gullible
9. University of Colorado Denver Business School study shows failure better teacher than success
10. New study: More than 20,000 sledding injuries each year
11. Study of cell division sheds light on special mechanism in egg cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... This campaign aims to provide a path to improved education ... control and change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from a new or recurrent ... Plus, with an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from stroke, it’s become our ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees ... stories, courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also ... advocates and associations—namely Jones & Bartlett Learning. , Jones & Bartlett Learning is ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Despite last week’s media reports ... Yellen and company to wait until March 2017 for an interest rate increase, according ... Robinson College of Business. , “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at ... on their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... House® Project offering a new model of care for living and healing, celebrated ... core values: Meaningful Life in a Real Home provided by Empowered Staff. , “This ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan Diseases, today announced that President & ... upcoming investor conferences: SeeThru Equity MicroCap Conference   ... New York City , NY When: Tuesday, May ... Conference   Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... NASHVILLE, Tenn. , May 26, 2016 ... provider of software and analytics, network solutions ... healthcare, today announced it entered into a ... leading provider of outpatient software solutions and ... surgery centers, specialty hospitals and rehabilitation clinics ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , Germany and GERMANTOWN, ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: ... licensing and co-development agreement with Therawis Diagnostics GmbH to develop ... be to develop and market PITX2 as a marker to ... high-risk breast cancer patients. "We are pleased to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: