June 25, 2024

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Brainwave Reading Technology Maintains Optimal Dosage During General Anesthesia

Newly Developed Brainwave Reading Technology Maintains Optimal Dosage During General Anesthesia



Newly Developed Brainwave Reading Technology Maintains Optimal Dosage During General Anesthesia

Administering general anesthesia is a delicate matter, as it requires achieving the right balance between not under-anesthetizing and avoiding over-anesthetization.

Typically, this demands the extensive experience and undivided attention of an anesthesiologist.

Recognizing this challenge, scientists have now developed an automated system that continuously adjusts the dosage based on a patient’s brainwave activity.

Newly Developed Brainwave Reading Technology Maintains Optimal Dosage During General Anesthesia

If a patient receives too little anesthesia during surgery, there is a risk of them waking up during the procedure. Conversely, if the anesthesia dosage is excessive, patients may experience cognitive issues like memory loss or even cardiac failure upon awakening. To minimize these risks, closed-loop anesthesia delivery systems (CLAD) are sometimes employed. These devices continually monitor a patient’s vital signs and automatically adjust the rate at which anesthesia is administered to keep these vital signs within the desired range.

According to Professor Emery N. Brown from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), previous CLAD systems did not truly monitor a patient’s consciousness state using brainwave data. Through collaboration with colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, he developed a system that can accomplish this.

The experimental setup monitors fluctuations in local field potential (LFP) power, which is an electrical signal generated by neurons. LFP power is, in turn, determined by the spikes in neural activity, and these spikes can be predicted depending on whether a person is awake or asleep. Therefore, by continuously monitoring fluctuations in LFP power related to neural spike activity, it is possible to determine if a person is conscious or unconscious.

Brown’s system also utilizes computer models to determine the appropriate drug dosage needed to maintain the desired LFP range based on an individual’s physiological characteristics.

In a series of nine experiments, each lasting 125 minutes, the system successfully transitioned two rhesus monkeys between two different levels of required sedation. This was achieved by adjusting the dosage of the anesthetic propofol every 20 seconds.

Before this technology can be applied to humans, further research is necessary. The hope is that the system can eventually use straightforward brainwave readings obtained through an EEG cap to genuinely induce and reverse a conscious state in patients.

A paper on this research was recently published in the “PNAS Nexus” journal.

Newly Developed Brainwave Reading Technology Maintains Optimal Dosage During General Anesthesia

(source:internet, reference only)


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