Up to now there was not much information about the effects caused by the anesthesia in young children, especially between the ages of 1 and 3 years. Specifically its effect on the development of the brain, the same have been tested on animals and the findings have not been satisfactory due to lesions have been observed in the brain and small alterations in their behavior, learning and memory.
On the other hand researchers at the Medical Center of Columbia University and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Children's Hospital, Morgan Stanley demonstrated that the exposure of anesthesia in healthy children under the age of three years does not bring any risk, “Numerous studies in animals have suggested that exposure to anesthetic agents in common use in the early development could lead to impairments in learning, memory, attention and other cognitive functions,” explains the author Lena S. Sun, professor of pediatric Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, University of Columbia.
It is estimated that approximately two million children in the united States are subjected annually to surgical procedures, in addition to the anesthesia is used in diagnostic procedures, such as imaging studies and endoscopy; on the other hand the study “Pediatric Anesthesia Neurodevelopment Assessment confirmed that exposure to a single anesthetic of short score, 80 minutes in children under the age of three years had an effect on the cognitive function global more late in his life.
“The potential neurotoxicity of anesthetic agents in common use in general anesthesia has been one of the most pressing concerns in paediatric surgery in the last decade. The project PANDA is one of the most rigorously designed intended to address this concern,” adds co-author Guohua Li, professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health Mailman of Columbia University and a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.