Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common brain processes of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness identified

Date:
May 22, 2013
Source:
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
Summary:
Feedback from the front region of the brain is a crucial building block for consciousness and that its disruption is associated with unconsciousness.

A study from the June issue of Anesthesiology found feedback from the front region of the brain is a crucial building block for consciousness and that its disruption is associated with unconsciousness when the anesthetics ketamine, propofol or sevoflurane are administered.

Brain centers and mechanisms of consciousness have not been well understood, resulting in a need for better monitors of consciousness during anesthesia. In addition, how anesthetics with different structures and pharmacological properties can generate unconsciousness has been a persistent question in anesthesiology since the beginning of the field in the mid-19th century.

A team of researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea, conducted a brain wave (electroencephalographic, or EEG) study of the front and back regions of the brain in 30 surgical patients who received intravenous ketamine. They compared the results of this study to the EEG data collected from 18 surgical patients who received either intravenous propofol or inhaled sevoflurane in a previous study. These three anesthetics, known to act on different parts of the brain and produce different EEG patterns, had the same effect of disrupting communication in the brain.

"Understanding a commonality among the actions of these diverse drugs could lead to a more comprehensive theory of how general anesthetics induce unconsciousness," said study author George Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor and associate chair for faculty affairs, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan. "Our research shows that studying general anesthesia from the perspective of consciousness may be a fruitful approach and create new avenues for further investigation of anesthetic mechanisms and monitoring."

An accompanying editorial by Jamie W. Sleigh, M.D., professor of anaesthesiology and intensive care, Department of Anaesthesia, University of Auckland, Hamilton, New Zealand, supported the study's ability to better understand the neurobiology of consciousness.

"If the study's findings are confirmed by subsequent work, the paper will achieve landmark status," said Dr. Sleigh. "The study not only sheds light on the phenomenon of general anesthesia, but also how it is necessary for certain regions of the brain to communicate accurately with one another for consciousness to emerge."

In addition, Dr. Sleigh recognized the study's potential to lead to the development of better depth-of-anesthesia monitors that work for all general anesthetics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. UnCheol Lee, SeungWoo Ku, GyuJeong Noh, SeungHye Baek, ByungMoon Choi, George A. Mashour. Disruption of Frontal–Parietal Communication by Ketamine, Propofol, and Sevoflurane. Anesthesiology, 2013; 118 (6): 1264 DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31829103f5
  2. Jamie W. Sleigh. The Study of Consciousness Comes of Age. Anesthesiology, 2013; 118 (6): 1245 DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e318291031f

Cite This Page:

American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). "Common brain processes of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522085007.htm>.
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). (2013, May 22). Common brain processes of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522085007.htm
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). "Common brain processes of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522085007.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins