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Pain Management Center
Browse our news, publications and events from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Pain Medicine.
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Friday, March 13, 2009 Clinical
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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