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SmartTots and IARS News, Press Releases and Events
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SmartTots – Perspectives from the Front Lines

Millions of children undergo surgery annually. Recent studies suggest there may be reason for concern. This video, featuring Dr. Dean Andropoulos, Dr. Peter Davis, and Dr. Caleb Ing, provides a summary as to why research is needed and the type that is needed.

SmartTots to Help Make Anesthetics and Sedatives Safer for Children

Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Michael Roizen, of the International Anesthesia Research Society, unveil a new partnership that aims to make anesthesia safer for children.

Pediatric Anesthesia Questions and Myths-Mayo Clinic

Dr. Randall Flick at Mayo Clinic “debunks myths” and answers common questions raised by parents in regard to anesthesia.

Astrogliosis in juvenile non-human primates 2 years after infant anaesthesia exposure.

Infant anaesthesia causes acute brain cell apoptosis, and later in life cognitive deficits and behavioural alterations, in non-human primates (NHPs). Various brain injuries and neurodegenerative conditions are characterised by chronic astrocyte activation (astrogliosis). Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astrocyte-specific protein, increases during astrogliosis and remains elevated after an injury. Whether infant anaesthesia is associated with a sustained increase in GFAP is unknown. We hypothesised that GFAP is increased in specific brain areas of NHPs 2 yr after infant anaesthesia, consistent with prior injury.

Repeated neonatal sevoflurane induced neurocognitive impairment through NF-κB-mediated pyroptosis.

Exposure to general anesthesia (GA) during the postnatal period is associated with neuroinflammation and long-term neurocognitive impairment in preclinical and clinical settings. Pyroptosis is a novel type of programmed cell death that, along with inflammation, has been found to play an important role in the mechanism of diverse neurological diseases. However, its roles in GA-induced neuroinflammation and neurocognitive impairment in the developing brain have not been investigated.

The Increased Channel Activity of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors at Extrasynaptic Sites in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex of Neonatal Rats Following Prolonged Ketamine Exposure.

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, commonly used for analgesia and anesthesia in a variety of pediatric procedures. It acts as a non-competitive antagonist to block ion channels of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). Our previous study showed that repeated ketamine exposure developed a compensatory increase in NMDAR-mediated currents in neurons of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of neonatal rats, and this increase was largely mediated by the GluN2B subunit-containing receptors, a predominant type of NMDARs during embryonic and early development of the brain. These data provide the molecular evidence to support that immature neurons are highly vulnerable to the development of apoptotic cell death after prolonged ketamine exposure.

Dexmedetomidine does not compromise neuronal viability, synaptic connectivity, learning and memory in a rodent model.

Recent animal studies have drawn concerns regarding most commonly used anesthetics and their long-term cytotoxic effects, specifically on the nervous tissue. It is therefore imperative that the search continues for agents that are non-toxic at both the cellular and behavioural level. One such agent appears to be dexmedetomidine (DEX) which has not only been found to be less neurotoxic but has also been shown to protect neurons from cytotoxicity induced by other anesthetic agents. However, DEX’s effects on the growth and synaptic connectivity at the individual neuronal level, and the underlying mechanisms have not yet been fully resolved.

Effects of sevoflurane exposure during different stages of pregnancy on the brain development of rat offspring.

This study explored the effects of sevoflurane exposure during different stages of pregnancy on the brain development of offspring. Thirty-six pregnant SD rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: control, sevoflurane exposure in early (S1) pregnancy, sevoflurane exposure in middle (S2) pregnancy, and sevoflurane exposure in late (S3) pregnancy. After natural birth, the learning and memory capacity of offspring rats was analyzed using the Morris water maze experiment.