New Delhi: As per a new study, repeated exposure to a common anaesthesia drug early in life results in visual recognition memory impairment, which emerges after the first year of life and may persist long-term.
The research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is among the first to address the question of whether repeated postnatal anaesthesia exposure, in and of itself, results in memory impairment in a highly translationally relevant rhesus monkey model.
Rhesus monkeys at birth are at a stage of neurodevelopment that is more similar to that of human infants than are neonatal rodents; with respect to brain growth, a six-week-old rhesus monkey corresponds to a human 6 to 12 months of age.
Because these kinds of controlled studies cannot be carried out in humans, it is essential to use a comparable animal model to discover if anaesthesia is affecting the brain.
Unlike previous research, the study was conducted in the absence of a surgical procedure, co-morbidities that may necessitate surgical intervention, or the psychological stress associated with illness.
"The major strength of this study is its ability to separate anaesthesia exposure from surgical procedures, which is a potential complication in the studies conducted in children," said researcher Mark Baxter.
"Our results confirm that multiple anaesthesia exposures alone result in memory impairment in a highly translational animal model.
(With Agency inputs)