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The earlier studies were criticized for including children who were anesthetized in an era that relied on somewhat outdated drugs and monitoring.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.
- Pack your bags, we’re going to Montreal!
- Neurodevelopmental effects of anesthesia and environmental factors
- Role of environmental stressors in determining the developmental outcome of neonatal anesthesia
- Insufficient Astrocyte-Derived Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Contributes to Propofol-Induced Neuron Death through Akt/Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β/Mitochondrial Fission Pathway
- Early Developmental Exposure to General Anesthetic Agents in Primary Neuron Culture Disrupts Synapse Formation via Actions on the mTOR Pathway