February 2013

Now Accepting Applications: SmartTots 2013 Research Grants

SmartTots is now accepting applications aimed at investigating whether anesthetics/sedatives are neurotoxic and/or impede the normal development of the human brain.

Projects should focus on whether neonatal anesthetic exposure in humans impairs brain development resulting in persistent detrimental effects on cognition or behavior. Studies aimed at identifying either specific anesthetic techniques that do not produce neurotoxic effects or interventions to ameliorate damage will also be considered.

Deadline to apply is April 12, 2013. Get started on your application.

IARS 2013 Annual Meeting

The IARS 2013 Annual Meeting in San Diego (May 4-7) will include three panels on the safety and potential impact of pediatric anesthesia.

  • SmartTots Panel: Update on New Scientific Advances in Anesthetic Neurotoxicity in the Developing Brain
  • ISAP Panel: The Best of the New in Clinical Pharmacology
  • APSF Panel: General Anesthesia for Infants Having Surgery and Elective Procedures: Is it Safe?

Don’t miss the 2013 Party with a Purpose fundraiser, which will raise funds for SmartTots research. Purchase your ticket by April 15th to be entered to win an Apple iPad Mini.

Recent Literature

Anesthetics Interfere with Axon Guidance in Developing Mouse Neocortical Neurons In Vitro via a γ-Aminobutyric Acid Type A Receptor Mechanism
The finding that exposure to general anesthetics (GAs) in childhood may increase rates of learning disabilities has raised a concern that anesthetics may interfere with brain development. The generation of neuronal circuits, a complex process in which axons follow guidance cues to dendritic targets, is an unexplored potential target for this type of toxicity. Read more

Dual Effects of Isoflurane on Proliferation, Differentiation, and Survival in Human Neuroprogenitor Cells

Previous studies have demonstrated that isoflurane can provide both neuroprotection and neurotoxicity in various tissue culture models and in rodent developing brains. The cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating these dual effects are not clear, but the exposure level and duration of isoflurane appear to be determinant factors. Read more

Prognostic Study of Sevoflurane-Based General Anesthesia on Cognitive Function in Children

It is unclear whether volatile general anesthetics have sustained adverse effects on the immature brains of children. The authors performed a self-controlled study to evaluate the effects of strabismus surgery under sevoflurane-based general anesthesia on the cognitive function of pediatric patients. Read more