Navigation Links
Researchers Find Links Between Sleep, Anesthesia and Coma
Date:12/29/2010

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors can learn more about anesthesia, sleep and coma by paying attention to what the three have in common, a new report suggests.

"This is an effort to try to create a common discussion across the fields," said review co-author Dr. Emery N. Brown, an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. "There is a relationship between sleep and anesthesia: could this help us understand ways to produce new sleeping medications? If we understand how people come out of anesthesia, can it help us help people come out of comas?"

The researchers, who compared the physical signs and brain patterns of those under anesthesia and those who were asleep, report their findings in the Dec. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. They acknowledged that anesthesia, sleep and coma are very different states in many ways and, in fact, only the deepest stages of sleep resemble the lightest stages of anesthesia. And people choose to sleep, for example, but lapse into comas involuntarily. But, as Brown puts it, general anesthesia is "a reversible drug-induced coma," even though physicians prefer to tell patients that they're "going to sleep."

"They say 'sleep' because they don't want to scare patients by using the word 'coma,'" Brown said. But even anesthesiologists use the term without understanding that it's not quite accurate, he said. "On one level, we truly don't have it clear in our minds from a neurological standpoint what we're doing."

So what do sleep and anesthesia have in common? Physicians monitor the brains of people when they've been knocked out by anesthesia, and they do the same thing when they study people who are sleeping, Brown said. "If you have a better understanding of how brain circuits work, you can better understand how to do this."

Another study co-author said both sleep and anesthesia can help shed light on coma, a little understood phenomenon that strikes people with brain injury and can be induced by physicians to help the body heal.

Dr. Nicholas D. Schiff, a professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said the framework laid by the report, which he co-authored, may help doctors gain better insight into how people recover from brain injuries because the process is similar to coming out of general anesthesia.

"We know very little about the step-by-step changes that are associated with recovery from coma," Schiff said. "It's clear that you can have recovery over long periods of time, but figuring out who will recover and why is less clear."

Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, chairwoman of the department of anesthesiology & pain medicine at the University of Washington, said the new report is strong and "boldly suggests that anesthetic action in the human brain may be more in parallel with sleep and coma than originally envisioned."

In the future, she said, new ideas about how sleep works -- that it may be centered in compartments of the brain instead of the whole organ -- "will be very interesting to pursue as they may relate to anesthesia action in the years to come."

More information

For more about anesthesia, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., anesthesiologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor, anesthesia, Harvard Medical School, and professor, computational neuroscience and health sciences and technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston; Nicholas D. Schiff, M.D., professor, neurology and neuroscience, and director, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; Debra A. Schwinn, M.D., chair, department of anesthesiology & pain medicine, University of Washington, Seattle; Dec. 30, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers Find Links Between Sleep, Anesthesia and Coma
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are derived from ... of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in the current ... For the full issue, click here . , For the American Society of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. ... The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top ... Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... KNOXVILLE, Tenn. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal ... million in funding.  The Series-A funding is led ... the Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, ... less-invasive neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: