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Is Anesthesia Bad for the Newborn Brain?

Authors
Journal
Anesthesiology Clinics
1932-2275
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
27
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.anclin.2009.05.007
Keywords
  • Neonate
  • Anesthesia
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Neuroapoptosis
  • Neurocognition
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Medicine

Abstract

Although certain data suggest that common general anesthetics may be neurotoxic to immature animals, there are also data suggesting that these same anesthetics may be neuroprotective against hypoxicischemic injury, and that inadequate analgesia during painful procedures may lead to increased neuronal cell death in animals and long-term behavioral changes in humans. The challenge for the pediatric anesthesia community is to design and implement studies in human infants to ascertain the safety of general anesthesia. In this article, the authors review the relevant preclinical and clinical data that are currently available on this topic.

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