General anesthesia is a widespread and extremely important medical procedure. However, there are many misconceptions about it. So what does general anesthesia do exactly?
What Is General Anesthesia?
This procedure renders you fully unconscious. Many believe that it is similar to a deep sleep. But general anesthesia is more than that.
The purpose of general anesthesia is to temporarily stop you from experiencing pain. Thus, it renders your brain unable to respond to pain signals as well as reflexes.
It’s up to your doctors to decide whether general anesthesia is the best option for you. It is usually the best choice if you have to go through a long procedure such as surgery. But some forms of surgery require different forms of anesthesia.
Is general anesthesia risky? Not usually. However, some medical conditions can make it more dangerous. Hence, your doctors will have to examine you before they make a decision.
The Effects General Anesthesia Has on Your Brain
What happens in your brain during this procedure? What does general anesthesia do to your nerves and brain cells?
Scientists are still working on the answer but they recently discovered something new. General anesthesia disrupts the communication between the cells in your brain. But how does that work?
This type of anesthesia lessens the production of a particular protein. This protein carries signals between your neurons. So a decrease in that protein makes communication slow down.
What are the main implications of this discovery?
Brain connectivity in young children is vulnerable to disruption. Furthermore, elderly people can have connectivity issues too. This breakthrough could explain why general anesthesia is dangerous for the very young and very old.