You Tube What Does Anesthesia Do to Your Brain?
The Different Kinds
Although we are not quite sure how fairly well anesthesia works but it’s quite certain that it works and also is quite safe. However, Scientists are still contemplating how all these chemicals make our brains go numb for a while. As we all know it is a state where we don’t feel pain and doctors use this situation to their favor when they do surgeries. So unless getting all worked up, we are numb throughout the whole time. There are several types of anesthesia. We have general anesthesia that can knock you up completely, we have local anesthesia which is used to numb a certain organ of our body, we also know twilight sedation where although technically being conscious, we are oblivious of anything that happened.
Nap and Nap under Anesthesia
General anesthesia contains two drugs. The first one makes you fall asleep fast and the second one helps you stay like that for a while. Doctors adjust the dosage of second drug so that you don’t get awakened at the wrong time. So we now know that anesthesia helps us not feel pain and remember what happened during surgery. But anesthesia is not the same as a nap. Some brain-parts are still active when drugged but unlike a fully conscious state, the active parts can’t communicate with each other. The brain patterns also prove the distinction as under anesthesia there’s no rapid eye movement or dreaming as we do in sleep.
On the other hand anesthesia is a lot like a coma, the brainwaves can attest to that. This anesthetic state can be brought by a lot of these chemicals too such as the noble gas xenon, big molecules made up of rings of carbon. Scientists therefore thought these chemicals might have something in common and one evident similarity was that they all dissolve in the oils of your cell membranes. For decades scientists thought anesthetics dissolve in the cells and disrupt them somehow. But somehow these compounds which are similar to anesthetics don’t numb pain and what’s more anesthetics are not so oil soluble actually.
Scientists now think that it must be proteins that oil patches also. So anesthetics dissolve in proteins in our brains. These types of drugs are quite hard to study. This bond anesthetics make is very weak and as it is hard to hold them in their place for a long time, scientists can’t figure out where they are stuck. Propofol is by far the most understood anesthetic. Propofol binds the receptor for a chemical messenger called GABA, which is involved in controlling sleep, alertness, and many others. Propofol assists to start up the brain’s receptors for GABA and researchers think it’s actually active in the part of the brain that handles sleep. We don’t know how this all happens but as studies show the existence of other anesthetics that also bind to GABA receptor, researchers are likely to be right. Studied recently showed that redheads need 19% more anesthetic than brunets. Genes of redheads are resistance to anesthetic especially as it is related to pain sensitivity. So general anesthesia works, although we don’t know how.
Benazir Elahee Munni