Volume 93 Issue 41 | pp. 34-35
Issue Date: October 19, 2015

Brainwave Patterns Are Helping To Unveil How Anesthetics Work

Brain monitoring techniques could explain how the drugs trigger unconsciousness, improving patient safety
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: anesthesia, electroencephalography, neuroscience, surgery

Thanks to anesthetics, patients on the operating table “sleep” through their surgery and don’t feel the pain of being cut open—at least, doctors hope. But at the wrong dose, these small molecules can cause dangerous changes to heart rate, blood pressure, and a patient’s ability to breathe.

To avoid catastrophe, anesthesiologists accompany the surgical team into the operating room, closely monitoring a patient’s vital signs and adjusting the dose of anesthetics accordingly. Doctors have been . . .

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