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A mesoscopic modelling approach to anaesthetic action on brain electrical activity

Liley, D. T. J., Foster, B. L. and Bojak, I. ORCID: (2011) A mesoscopic modelling approach to anaesthetic action on brain electrical activity. In: Hutt, A. (ed.) Sleep and Anesthesia: Neural Correlates in Theory and Experiment. Springer Series in Computational Neuroscience (15). Springer, New York, pp. 139-166. ISBN 9781461401728

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-0173-5_7


Relating the measurable, large scale, effects of anaesthetic agents to their molecular and cellular targets of action is necessary to better understand the principles by which they affect behavior, as well as enabling the design and evaluation of more effective agents and the better clinical monitoring of existing and future drugs. Volatile and intravenous general anaesthetic agents (GAs) are now known to exert their effects on a variety of protein targets, the most important of which seem to be the neuronal ion channels. It is hence unlikely that anaesthetic effect is the result of a unitary mechanism at the single cell level. However, by altering the behavior of ion channels GAs are believed to change the overall dynamics of distributed networks of neurons. This disruption of regular network activity can be hypothesized to cause the hypnotic and analgesic effects of GAs and may well present more stereotypical characteristics than its underlying microscopic causes. Nevertheless, there have been surprisingly few theories that have attempted to integrate, in a quantitative manner, the empirically well documented alterations in neuronal ion channel behavior with the corresponding macroscopic effects. Here we outline one such approach, and show that a range of well documented effects of anaesthetics on the electroencephalogram (EEG) may be putatively accounted for. In particular we parameterize, on the basis of detailed empirical data, the effects of halogenated volatile ethers (a clinically widely used class of general anaesthetic agent). The resulting model is able to provisionally account for a range of anaesthetically induced EEG phenomena that include EEG slowing, biphasic changes in EEG power, and the dose dependent appearance of anomalous ictal activity, as well as providing a basis for novel approaches to monitoring brain function in both health and disease.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:32501

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