Anesthesia and cerebral apoptosis

B Brée, M Gourdin, M De Kock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


General anesthetics interact with targets at the cellular and molecular levels. They have the potential to induce changes in the body and the brain. Usually, these interactions are thought to be short lasting. In contrast, recent evidences suggest that alcohol, a toxic sharing many mechanisms with general anesthetics, induces long term effect at these levels. This is particularly evident in the period of synaptogenesis during which alcohol can induce excessive cerebral apoptosis (histopathologic changes) in juvenile animal models. Even if the vast majority of our patients seems to completely restore homeostasis after general anesthesia, we don't know if the changes induced at the brain level in animal models exist in human. This article intends to supply biological, pharmacological and experimental basis for a possible long term effect of general anesthetics on the human developing brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-37
Number of pages11
JournalActa anaesthesiologica Belgica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Brain
  • Ethanol
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Swine
  • Journal Article
  • Review

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