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Good read: Hitting the anesthesia "sweet spot"

Jan. 16, 2024
Read about a new brain-monitoring device being developed to help doctors administer anesthetics with more precision.
Elizabeth S. Leaver, Digital content manager

Enjoy this “good read,” an excerpt from an article or other online source related to dentistry curated and shared with DentistryIQ readers.

When administering anesthetics, doctors normally use a patient’s body measurements such as weight and age to determine the dosing. But according to Science News, there is no clear relationship between a patient’s dose and the likelihood that they’ll be fully anesthetized with certain drugs, sometimes leading anesthesiologists to “give amounts on the higher end of the spectrum to ensure their patients remain unconscious.” 

To that end, researchers are developing a new brain-monitoring device to limit the guesswork of “hitting the sweet spot that slips people into oblivion.” The new device, a closed-loop anesthesia delivery (CLAD) system, is designed to maintain precisely specified levels of unconsciousness, according to a study published in PNAS Nexus.  

Researchers monitored the brain activity of rhesus macaques under sedation and gave a common anesthetic called propofol in doses that were automatically adjusted every 20 seconds. Fluctuating doses ensured the animals received just the right amount of propofol to stay sedated for more than two hours, reported researchers, results they hope brings the field a “step toward devising and testing a system that would work for people.”

Read "A brain-monitoring device may one day take the guesswork out of anesthesia" on Science News

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About the Author

Elizabeth S. Leaver | Digital content manager

Elizabeth S. Leaver was the digital content manager for Endeavor Business Media's dental group from 2021-2024. She has a degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston and many years of experience working in niche industries specializing in creating content, editing, content marketing, and publishing digital and magazine content. She lives in the Boston area.