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26 October 2012

Secrets of anaesthesia revealed

A study found that anaesthesia drugs don't just turn wakefulness off, they also switch on important sleep circuits in the brain.

General anaesthesia drugs really do put patients to sleep, suggests research conducted in mice.

Kelz and his colleagues focused on an area of the brain deep within the hypothalamus, which is known to become more active as a person goes to sleep. They found that the anaesthesia drug isoflurane boosts activity in this area of the brain in mice. They also found that mice with non-functioning neurons in this area were more resistant to the drug.

 
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