In recent years, since the need for anesthetic interventions in pregnant women, newborns, and older patients has been increasing, the anesthesia-induced cognitive impairment has received widespread attention and highlighted the urgent requirement for preventive and therapeutic measures with low risk of side effects. Environmental enrichment (EE), a novel and easy-to-implement rehabilitation treatment strategy, exerts its protective potential on the cognitive abilities of developing and aging brains after anesthetic exposure. This review summarizes the improvement of cognition by EE described in recent studies and explores the molecular mechanisms by which EE exerts neuroprotective effects. The literature indicates that the intervention mode, timing, and duration of EE are vital to its effect.

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Xiaohan Chang & Yue Tian.
Neurotoxicology and teratology November 2022