University of Michigan Research Examines Anesthetic State Transitions

A team of researchers led by the University of Michigan Health System has demonstrated continuous and discrete elements of anesthetic state transitions through an approach based on mathematical graph theory, according to a study published in the April 2011 issue of Anesthesiology.

The U-M researchers worked with colleagues to show that changes in consciousness are connected to general anesthetic-induced disruption of information processing in the parietal cortex. Traditionally, anesthesiologists have monitored the brain's frontal cortex to keep track of changes in consciousness.

An accompanying editorial posited that anesthesiologists may be placing electrodes in the wrong place to estimate depth of anesthesia, considering the increasing body of research that indicates parietal cortical processing is a central hub in the "seat of consciousness."

The study examined 20 healthy males who were anesthetized with propofol and then monitored with a continuous measurement of 21-channel electroencephalogram at baseline during anesthesia and recovery.

Read the study in Anesthesiology on anesthetic state transitions

Read more on anesthesia:

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-Involving Anesthesia in Transparency and ACOs: Q&A With Somnia Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rob Goldstein

-Non-Infiltrative Anesthetics Effective in Treating Transrectal Prostate Biopsy Pain

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