Physician Photo

Ken Solt, MD

Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School Assistant Anesthetist, Massachusetts General Hospital

  • Phone: 617-643-2139
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Clinical Interests
Anesthesia for general surgery and orthopedics
Obstetric anesthesia
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Anesthesiology, American Board of Anesthesiology
Foreign Languages
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients


Research Areas

  • Elucidating the mechanisms underlying emergence from general anesthesia
  • Actively controlling the process of emergence from general anesthesia
  • Developing novel methods to assess return of cognitive function after general anesthesia
  • Analysis of neurophysiological recordings during general anesthesia and active emergence

Description of Research

I began investigating anesthetic mechanisms in medical school, where I studied biophysical interactions between halogenated anesthetics and model proteins that mimic putative molecular sites of anesthetic action.  As a senior resident and junior faculty member in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at MGH, I studied anesthetic-induced changes in the function of neuronal ion channels. For several years I used two-electrode voltage-clamp and patch-clamp electrophysiology with ultra-rapid solution exchange techniques to study ion channel physiology under simulated synaptic conditions.

Since 2008 my laboratory work has focused on investigating the mechanisms of emergence from general anesthesia using a systems neuroscience approach. Evidence suggests that arousal pathways in the brain play important roles in promoting emergence from general anesthesia. My team currently studies these pathways and developing novel methods to actively induce emergence from general anesthesia in surgical patients. In 2011, we published a manuscript describing the active induction of emergence from general anesthesia with methylphenidate in rats, and we are now probing the role of dopaminergic neurotransmission in active emergence. Our work may eventually lead to improved pharmacological control over the arousal states of anesthetized patients, better treatments for emergence delirium, better neurophysiological monitors to detect intraoperative awareness, and ultimately a safer and more efficient practice of anesthesiology.

Common stimulant may speed recovery from general anesthesia

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.

Recovery from propofol anesthesia may be sped by use of common stimulant

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.

Stimulation of brain region restores consciousness to animals under general anesthesia

Stimulating one of two dopamine-producing regions in the brain was able to arouse animals receiving general anesthesia with either isoflurane or propofol.

Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-643-2139
Fax: 617-724-8644