An important element of designing research studies is the selection of appropriate outcome measures to ensure that the question posed is properly answered given the evidence. The selection of outcome measures is especially important when tackling complex, interdisciplinary problems, where appropriate outcome measures may not be as simple as a blood test or a laboratory value. One such area of study is the research into neurodevelopmental outcomes after early exposure to anesthetic agents. Concern has arisen recently that certain anesthetic agents may be toxic to the developing brain; a public-private partnership, SmartTots, was formed in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration and various stakeholders to develop safe anesthetic regimens for neonates and infants who require surgery. However, as research has progressed, questions have arisen regarding the best outcome measures to use in order to detect a true effect, as well as the optimal window in which to measure. These issues were discussed in a round table meeting during the SmartTots meeting in September 2017, and a summary of the discussion is presented here.
- Prenatal Exposure to General Anesthesia Drug Esketamine Impaired Neurobehavior in Offspring.
- Needle in a Haystack: Localising the Long-Term Neuronal Changes from Early-Life Exposure to General Anaesthesia.
- Toll-Like Receptor 4 Deficiency Ameliorates Propofol-Induced Impairments of Cognitive Function and Synaptic Plasticity in Young Mice.
- Whole-Brain Characterization of Apoptosis after Sevoflurane Anesthesia Reveals Neuronal Cell Death Patterns in the Mouse Neonatal Neocortex.
- Apamin, an SK2 Inhibitor, Attenuated Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposures Caused Cognitive Deficits in Mice through the Regulation of Hippocampal Neuroinflammation.