THE impact of anesthesia on the developing brain continues to be hotly debated. In this issue, Hu et al.,1 from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, report an association between childhood exposure to multiple anesthetics and increased risk of learning disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study uses a well-established birth cohort and is similar to two studies published previously by the same Mayo Clinic group.2,3 The earlier studies were criticized for including children who were anesthetized in an era that relied on somewhat outdated drugs and monitoring. The study reported in this issue included children anesthetized with more contemporary agents and monitoring. The results are almost identical to the previous studies. All find an association between exposure to anesthesia in early childhood and subsequent diagnosis of learning disability and/or ADHD, and the associations were stronger with multiple exposures compared with single exposures.
- Effects of repeated exposure to different concentrations of sevoflurane on the neonatal mouse hippocampus
- Early life exposure to extended general anesthesia with isoflurane and nitrous oxide reduces responsivity on a cognitive test battery in the nonhuman primate
- Anesthesia affects excitatory/inhibitory synapses during the critical synaptogenic period in the hippocampus of young mice: Importance of sex as a biological variable
- Electron microscopy techniques employed to explore mitochondrial defects in the developing rat brain following ketamine treatment
- Lipidomics reveals a systemic energy deficient state that precedes neurotoxicity in neonatal monkeys after sevoflurane exposure