General Anaesthesia and the Developing Brain

  • V. Jevtovic-Todorovic
Conference paper


Advances in modern anaesthesiology have enabled us to perform complex surgical interventions in the early stages of human development. General anaesthesia is routinely administered to neonates, infants, and very young children, and the use of anaesthesia in premature infants (as young as 20 weeks postconception), has steadily increased. It would be over-simplistic to consider the child as a small adult when it comes to anaesthesia management, and many concerns in paediatric anaesthesia are unique to the pathophysiology and psychology of a child. Of special interest for our research is the fact that the young brain undergoes immense growth during early childhood. Although its development begins during the last trimester of in utero life, the human brain is not fully developed at birth and continues to grow over the first couple of years of postnatal life [1].


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Apoptotic Cascade Effector Caspase Activation Apoptotic Neurodegeneration Vulnerable Brain Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Jevtovic-Todorovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Anesthesiology and NeuroscienceUniversity of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA

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