Preclinical research into the effects of anesthetics on the developing brain: Promises and pitfalls

Cyrus David Mintz, Meredith Wagner, Andreas W. Loepke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Every year millions of children are treated with anesthetics and sedatives to alleviate pain and distress during invasive procedures. Accumulating evidence suggests the possibility for deleterious effects on the developing brain. This has led to significant concerns among pediatric anesthesiologists and to the formation of the Pediatric Anesthesia NeuroDevelopmental Assessment (PANDA) group and its biannual symposium. Not surprisingly, the majority of the data in this field have thus far been derived through laboratory research. Accordingly, this review summarizes the current state of animal research in this field, introduces some of the findings presented at the PANDA symposium, and addresses some of the difficulties in translating these findings to pediatric anesthesia practice, as discussed during the symposium. The symposium participants' consensus was that significant preclinical and clinical research efforts are still needed to investigate this important concern for child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • anesthesia
  • animal research
  • brain
  • in vitro
  • in vivo
  • infant
  • neonate
  • neuroapoptosis
  • neurotoxicity
  • pediatric
  • sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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