New Possibilities for General Anesthesia in Medical Field
Surgery is a medical practice that has been around since ancient days. As part of surgical procedures, anesthetic procedures are necessary to facilitate an operation. Over the years, the two main methods involved in surgical procedures have been sedation or general anesthesia.
According to recent research, general anesthesia drugs and procedures might have more applications in medicine because of their effects on the brain. Patients under an anesthetic drug usually experience numbness and sleepiness thus allowing for a painless surgery. The new findings have indicated that general anesthesia also affects the brain in other significant ways that might enable the transfer of useful knowledge to other medical areas.
General anesthesia affects neural communication in the brain
The new research has indicated that the proteins responsible for neural communication in the brain are inhibited by certain anesthetic drugs. Propofol, which is a common anesthesia drug, has been specifically touted as a drug which regulates the movements of communicative proteins. The new information comes as a result of a study that was done on rats. According to the results of the study, it was established that the drug disrupts the pre-synaptic functions thus affecting communication between the brain’s cells. This results in a much more different brain activity compared to normal sleep.
Previously, it has not been possible to fully establish chemical communication in the brain during anesthesia. With the findings of this study, however, a lot of potential has been realized in the medical circles. A lot more researchers are already looking into the results of the study in order to establish more facts. Before the new findings, anesthetic drugs have only been exclusively preferred because of their capability to induce sound sleep and unconsciousness necessary for many surgical procedures. Their other effects on the brain have rarely received any attention from medical experts and researchers. This is why the use of anesthetic drugs has always been limited.
The possibilities presented by the new findings
The recent research has a lot of potential implications for the medical field in general. There are many diseases that have often given researchers major headaches due to their complexity. A disease like Alzheimer’s, for instance, affects the brain in ways that have been difficult for researchers to understand. With the new information, however, it will be possible to monitor the communication activity of people with diseases like Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's disease.
Young children, whose brains are not fully developed, will also benefit from this research as it presents a better mechanism for understanding developing brains.