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Neurotoxicity of general anesthetics: A modern view of the problem

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All general anesthetics routinely used in clinical practice are noted to have a neurotoxic effect on the brain in different animal species including primates. The negative effects observed both in young and sexually mature animals include apoptotic neuronal cell death, suppression of neurogenesis and gliogenesis, neuroinflammation, as well as learning and memory impairments. A number of epidemiologic surveys have established an association between anesthesia in patients younger than 3 to 4 years and subsequent learning disabilities and language disorders whereas others have not found this link. In middle-aged and elderly patients, anesthesia is frequently associated with the development of postoperative cognitive dysfunction. The key component of its pathogenesis (general anesthesia itself or other factors, such as operative injury, an inflammatory response, pain syndrome, intraoperative complications, underlying disease in a patient) remains unelucidated. It is concluded that there is a need for additional experimental and clinical studies of the pathogenesis of these undesirable phenomena to be prevented and corrected.

About the Authors

A. M. Ovezov
M.F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Clinical Research Institute
Russian Federation
61/2 Shchepkin St., Moscow 129110

M. V. Panteleeva
M.F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Clinical Research Institute
Russian Federation
61/2 Shchepkin St., Moscow 129110

A. V. Knyazev
M.F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Clinical Research Institute
Russian Federation
61/2 Shchepkin St., Moscow 129110

A. V. Lugovoy
M.F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Clinical Research Institute
Russian Federation
61/2 Shchepkin St., Moscow 129110

M. N. Borisova
M.F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Clinical Research Institute
Russian Federation
61/2 Shchepkin St., Moscow 129110


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For citation:

Ovezov A.M., Panteleeva M.V., Knyazev A.V., Lugovoy A.V., Borisova M.N. Neurotoxicity of general anesthetics: A modern view of the problem. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2015;7(4):78-82. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 2310-1342 (Online)