Home / Health / This is how the brain restarts after a deep sleep from general anesthesia.

This is how the brain restarts after a deep sleep from general anesthesia.

You might spend hours wondering how long your laptop might take to start up. And now scientists have asked the human brain the same question: how does it start again after being anesthetized in a coma or in deep sleep?

The use of a group of 30 healthy adults who received general anesthesia for three hours. and a cohort of 30 healthy adults who were not a control measure. A new study reveals some insights into how the brain pulls itself back into consciousness.

It turns out that the brain switched back one by one. instead of all at once and the ability to solve abstract problems The brain, which is managed by the prefrontal cortex, is the fastest returning online function. Other parts of the brain, including those that control response time and attention, take longer.

Max Kelz, an anesthesiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said: Although at first it was surprising. But it makes sense in evolutionary terms that higher cognition needs to recover faster.

“For example If someone wakes up to a threat Structures such as the prefrontal cortex will be important for categorizing situations and forming action plans.”

Various methods are used to measure what is happening in the brain. This includes an electrocardiogram (EEG) scan and cognitive tests before and after surgery. These tests measure the speed of the reaction. memory recall and other skills

Analyzing EEG readings, the researchers observed that the frontal region of the brain It has functions such as troubleshooting, memory and motor control. It begins to work especially when the brain begins to recover.

Compared to the control group, it took about three hours for the anesthetized person to fully recover.

The team also followed the group participants on their sleep schedules in the days following the trial. This experience did not adversely affect sleep patterns in those who had previously been anesthetized.

Michael Avidan, an anesthesiologist at the University of Washington, said: “This shows that a healthy human brain can be resilient. Even through anesthesia for a long time

“Clinically, this means that some cognitive dysfunctions that we tend to see for days or weeks during recovery from anesthesia and surgery, such as delirium, may be due to factors other than the effects of anesthesia. of anesthetics in the brain”


Many surgical procedures would not be possible without general anesthesia. This is an effective and controlled way to turn off consciousness in the brain. This may occur involuntarily in the event of a coma.

Despite its widespread use But we really don’t understand. how the anesthetic works in precise detail Even though we know how to use it safely There are many ideas about how the brain handles these drugs. But there is no concrete evidence at this time.

Recent research findings not only help heal and care for patients, such as after major surgery involving general anesthesia. But it will also help scientists better understand the brain and how it responds to brain disruptions.

George Mashour, an anesthesiologist at the University of Michigan, said: “How the brain recovers from an unconscious state is clinically important. But it also helps us understand the neural basis of consciousness.”

The research was published in eLife.

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