Major dopamine system helps restore consciousness after general anesthesia, study finds
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Researchers may be one step closer to better understanding how anesthesia works. A study in the August issue of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists® (ASA®), found stimulating a major dopamine-producing region in the brain, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), caused rats to wake from general anesthesia, suggesting that this region plays a key role in restoring consciousness after general anesthesia. Activating this region at the end of surgery could provide a novel approach to proactively induce consciousness from anesthesia in surgical patients, researchers say.