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Anaesthetics-Induced Neurotoxicity in Developing Brain: An Update on Preclinical Evidence

by Zhaowei Zhou 1,2 and Daqing Ma 1,*
Section of Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine & Intensive Care, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London SW10 9NH, UK
Department of Surgery, Royal Bolton Hospital, Minerva Road, Farnworth, Bolton, Lancashire BL4 0JR, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(1), 136-149;
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 6 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotoxicity and General Anaesthetics in the Young)
Every year millions of young people are treated with anaesthetic agents for surgery and sedation in a seemingly safe manner. However, growing and convincing preclinical evidence in rodents and nonhuman primates, together with recent epidemiological observations, suggest that exposure to anaesthetics in common clinical use can be neurotoxic to the developing brain and lead to long-term neurological sequelae. These findings have seriously questioned the safe use of general anaesthetics in obstetric and paediatric patients. The mechanisms and human applicability of anaesthetic neurotoxicity and neuroprotection have remained under intense investigation over the past decade. Ongoing pre-clinical investigation may have significant impact on clinical practice in the near future. This review represents recent developments in this rapidly emerging field. The aim is to summarise recently available laboratory data, especially those being published after 2010, in the field of anaesthetics-induced neurotoxicity and its impact on cognitive function. In addition, we will discuss recent findings in mechanisms of early-life anaesthetics-induced neurotoxicity, the role of human stem cell-derived models in detecting such toxicity, and new potential alleviating strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaesthetics; neuroapoptosis; neurotoxicity; neonates; developing brain anaesthetics; neuroapoptosis; neurotoxicity; neonates; developing brain
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, Z.; Ma, D. Anaesthetics-Induced Neurotoxicity in Developing Brain: An Update on Preclinical Evidence. Brain Sci. 2014, 4, 136-149.

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