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Associate Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School
Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine
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View my most recent publications at PubMed
The latest study from a Massachusetts General Hospital/Massachusetts Institute of Technology team investigating the mechanisms underlying general anesthesia finds that stimulating a specific group of neurons in mice produces signs of arousal even as the animals continue to receive the anesthetic drug isoflurane.
Stimulating one of two dopamine-producing regions in the brain was able to arouse animals receiving general anesthesia with either isoflurane or propofol.
The ability of the commonly used stimulant methylphenidate (Ritalin) to speed recovery from general anesthesia appears to apply both to the inhaled gas isoflurane, as previously reported, and to the intravenous drug propofol.
Administration of the commonly used stimulant drug methylphenidate was able to speed recovery from general anesthesia in an animal study conducted at MGH. The report is the first demonstration in mammals of what could be a safe and effective way to induce arousal from general anesthesia.
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