Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Repeated anaesthesia can affect childrens ability to learn

08.03.2010
There is a link between repeated anaesthesia in children and memory impairment, though physical activity can help to form new cells that improve memory, reveals new research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
The study has been published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.
"Paediatric anaesthetists have long suspected that children who are anaesthetised repeatedly over the course of just a few years may suffer from impaired memory and learning," says Klas Blomgren, professor at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "This is a theory that is also supported by foreign research."

His research team discovered, by chance, a link between stem cell loss and repeated anaesthesia when working on another study. They wanted to find out what happens to the brain's stem cells when exposed to strong magnetic fields, for example during an MRI scan. The study was carried out using rats and mice, and showed that while the magnetic fields did not have any tangible effects on the animals, the repeated anaesthesia did.

"We found that repeated anaesthesia wiped out a large portion of the stem cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is important for memory," says Blomgren. "The stem cells in the hippocampus can form new nerve and glial cells, and the formation of nerve cells is considered important for our memory function."

Their results could also be linked to impaired memory in animals as they got older. The effect was evident only in young rats or mice that had been anaesthetised, not when adult animals were anaesthetised. This may be because stem cells are more sensitive in an immature brain, even though there are fewer of them as we get older.

"Despite extensive attempts, we have not been able to understand exactly what happens when the stem cells are wiped out," says Blomgren. "We couldn't see any signs of increased cell death, but are speculating that the stem cells lose their ability to divide."

Another treatment that wipes out the brain's stem cells is radiotherapy, which is used with cancer patients. Blomgren and his research team have previously used animal studies to show that physical activity after radiotherapy can result in a greater number of new stem cells and partly replace those that have been lost.

"What's more, the new nerve cells seem to work better in animals that exercise. Now that we know this, we can come up with treatments that prevent or reverse the loss of ostem cells after repeated anaesthesia," says Blomgren, who believes that the findings will lead to greater awareness of the problems and inspire further research into the reasons for the loss of stem cells.

ANAESTHESIA
Anaesthesia is the use of anaesthetics, which are administered to patients by inhalation and/or injection before a surgical procedure. Patients then fall asleep, relax their muscles and feel no pain whatsoever. Often a combination of several different drugs is given via a cannula. These take around 15-20 seconds to work, depending on when the anaesthetic reaches the brain.
Full bibliographic data:
Journal: Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism
Title of article: Isoflurane anesthesia induced persistent, progressive memory impairment, caused a loss of neural stem cells, and reduced neurogenesis in young, but not adult, rodents.

Authors: Changlian Zhu, Jianfeng Gao, Niklas Karlsson, Qian Li, Yu Zhang, Zhiheng Huang, Hongfu Li, H Georg Kuhn and Klas Blomgren

For more information, please contact:
Klas Blomgren, professor of paediatrics at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital and researcher in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation at the Sahlgrenska Academy, tel: +46 31 786 3376, mobile: +46 703 23 3353,e-mail:klas.blomgren@neuro.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/
http://www.nature.com/jcbfm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jcbfm2009274a.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>