GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (GABA) is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. Also GABA activation is considered as the basis of general anesthesia including intravenous and inhalational anesthetics. Meanwhile, cumulating evidence indicated that GABA is the underlying mechanism of post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). Based on these findings, researchers are beginning to focus on GABA as the target to treat POCD, but they ignored the role of GABA in the performance of general anesthesia, especially when the blockade of GABA was given prior to surgery. It is undoubtedly risking our patients in intra-operative awareness. Our exploratory data also verified our hypothesis in which the GABA inhibition would reduce the efficacy of inhalational anesthetics.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Post-Operative Cognition Dysfunction, Minimum Alveolar Concentration
This work was supported in part by the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (NSFC, 30901397, 81271242, and 81371248), and Nanjing Outstanding Young Scientist Grant (201208009).
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