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The earlier studies were criticized for including children who were anesthetized in an era that relied on somewhat outdated drugs and monitoring.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.
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- Detrimental effects of general anaesthesia on young primates: are we closer to understanding the link?
- General anaesthesia during infancy reduces white matter micro-organisation in developing rhesus monkeys British Journal of Anaesthesia
- A synthetic peptide rescues rat cortical neurons from anesthetic-induced cell death, perturbation of growth and synaptic assembly
- The Effects of Hesperidin on Neuronal Apoptosis and Cognitive Impairment in the Sevoflurane Anesthetized Rat are Mediated Through the PI3/Akt/PTEN and Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) Signaling Pathways