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An MGH/MIT team has found that that activation of cholinergic neurons – those that release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine – in two brain stem structures can induce REM sleep in an animal model. Better understanding of mechanisms that control different sleep states is essential to improved treatment of sleep disorders.
A lightweight, portable system developed by an MGH research team can produce the potentially life-saving gas nitric oxide from the air by means of an electrical spark.
A report from MGH investigators finds that EEG patterns of patients receiving high doses of nitrous oxide differ significantly from those of the same patients under ether-based inhaled anesthetics, findings that suggest how nitrous oxide produces its effects and may help explain the failure of the first attempt to demonstrate anesthesia at MGH.
A series of papers from MGH researchers is detailing the differences in the way common anesthetics affect the brains of older patients and children, findings that could lead to ways of improving monitoring technology and the safety of general anesthesia for such patients.
The first study to measure the incidence of medication errors and adverse drug events during the perioperative period – immediately before, during and right after a surgical procedure – has found that some sort of mistake or adverse event occurred in every second operation and in 5 percent of observed drug administrations.
Stimulating one of two dopamine-producing regions in the brain was able to arouse animals receiving general anesthesia with either isoflurane or propofol.
A study led by MGH investigators has identified what appears to be a molecular switch controlling inflammatory processes involved in conditions ranging from muscle atrophy to Alzheimer’s disease.
MGH investigators have developed a system to accurately track the dynamic process of falling asleep, something has not been possible with existing techniques.
Two studies in mice suggest that several factors may combine to induce impairments in learning and memory, accompanied by the inflammation of brain tissue, in young mammals receiving general anesthesia and that the offspring of animals that received general anesthesia during pregnancy may show the same effects.
MGH investigators have identified specific EEG signatures that indicate when patients lose and regain consciousness under the general anesthetic drug propofol. The findings should lead to better ways of monitoring awareness and tracking other aspects of the brain states of patients under anesthesia.
Putting patients with severe head injuries in induced comas requires constant monitoring of brain activity and manual adjustment of drug dosage. Now a computer-controlled system promises to automate the process, making it more precise and efficient and opening the door to more advanced control of anesthesia.
The pain caused by a surgical incision may contribute to the risk of postoperative cognitive dysfunction, a sometimes transient impairment in learning and memory that affects a small but significant number of patients in the days following a surgical procedure.
A distinctive pattern of brain activity associated with conditions including deep anesthesia, coma and congenital brain disorders appears to represent the brain's shift into a protective, low-activity state in response to reduced metabolic energy.
The association of the inhaled anesthetic isoflurane with Alzheimer's-disease-like changes in mammalian brains may by caused by the drug's effects on mitochondria, the structures in which most cellular energy is produced.
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.
Massachusetts General Hospital has moved into the number one spot on the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list.
Nearly 5 percent of pregnant women are prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure, including some drugs that aren’t considered safe for mothers or their babies.
MGH researchers have found that medications currently used to immobilize patients during surgery can increase the risk of postoperative respiratory complications.
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified for the first time a pattern of brain activity that appears to signal exactly when patients lose consciousness under 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.
A study published in the March 2010 issue of the journal Anesthesiology gives researchers new insights in how to better understand and control a severe side effect of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers, often referred to as "artificial blood."
Emery Brown, MD, PhD, author of a New England Journal of Medicine review article, lays out a conceptual framework for understanding general anesthesia by discussing its relation to sleep and coma.
Mass. General researchers and the colleagues add to understanding of the role of the protein COX2 in pain associated with inflammation.
A simple and inexpensive method of assessing pain, developed by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers, is better than currently used techniques for distinguishing neuropathic pain – pain caused by damage to the nervous system – from other types of chronic back pain.
In the first detailed analysis of deaths during expeditions to the summit of Mt. Everest, a research team led by MGH investigators has conducted found that most deaths occur during descents from the summit in the so-called “death zone” above 8,000 meters and identified factors associated with a greater risk of death.
Dr. Paul Firth, a physician in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, participated in the Haiti relief effort on the hospital ship USNS Comfort as part of Project HOPE.
Join Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, Anesthetist-in-Chief, for a peek at how the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine celebrates its history, its people and embraces the four-part mission of Massachusetts General Hospital – patient care, education, research and community outreach.
Learn more about research in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Friday, September 30, 2011
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