AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


General Anesthesia in Young Children Not Associated With Significant Neurological Impairments, Study Suggests

Children who are exposed to general anesthesia from birth to age 2 developmental testing results in kindergarten that are similar to those of children who have not been exposed. The study provides some reassurance that exposure to general anesthesia in young children is not associated with significant long-term effects on the growth and development of the brain, according to researchers. Every year, millions of children require general anesthesia to undergo surgical or diagnostic procedures. Although exposure to anesthetics in the developing of animals has been linked to abnormalities in behavior, learning and memory, the effect in human children is unclear. Results have varied, but the combined analysis of previous studies in humans suggests that although a single anesthetic exposure might be safe, multiple exposures may be associated with increased risk, the authors note. Click here to read more. 

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