Everyone knows that its important to keep a cool head, but a new study published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.
"We hope that this research will initiate an interest in taking precautions to limit the impact of anesthesia on the disease," said Emmanuel Planel of Columbia University Medical Center and one of the scientists involved in the work.
To make this discovery, the scientists used two groups of mice that make the abnormal tau protein that accumulates in Alzheimer's patients. One group was anesthetized, and one group was not. A week after anesthesia, the two groups were compared for the amount of tau protein clumps in their brain cells. The anesthetized group had more of these clumps than the group that was not anesthetized. Furthermore, in mice showing advanced signs of the disease, the build up of tau proteins occurred faster than in those in the early stages.
"Every patient wants a surgeon with a cool head," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "but surgeons might not want the same for their patients. People are anesthetized for all kinds of reasons, even dental work, but this study really should make patients and doctors reconsider whether it's really necessary."
Report Details: Emmanuel Planel, Alexis Bretteville, Li Liu, Laszlo Virag, Angela L. Du, Wai Haung Yu, Dennis W. Dickson, Robert A. Whittington, and Karen E. Duff. Acceleration and persistence of neurofibrillary pathology in a mouse model of tauopathy following anesthesia
FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.08-122424. http://www.
Subscribe to The FASEB Journal's mailing list to receive monthly article summaries right in your inbox by signing up at http://www.