All news from Anaesthesiology

Long-term Effects Of Microgravity Changes The Physiology Of Human Brain

A study reports that the prolonged effects of microgravity raise doubts about the health of astronauts heading to Mars. Artificial gravity has been a highly useful concept for film directors wishing to depict life in space without the need to simulate zero gravity; it may yet prove a necessary technology for humans to venture to Mars and beyond, to overcome what appears an unavoidable neurological barrier to humans spending long periods in the weightless environment of a spaceship.

One blindingly apparent symptom to emerge from astronauts (and cosmonauts) spending prolonged periods in space is damage to their eyesight. Dubbed visual impairment intracranial pressure (VIIP) syndrome, the condition has been thought to be caused by changes in fluid pressure within the skull.

Patients Receive Postoperative Opioid Prescription After Ambulatory Surgery

Each year in the United States, more than 100 million people undergo surgical procedures, including 53 million performed in the ambulatory setting. Findings suggest that nearly all of these patients will receive a postoperative opioid prescription, and 1 study found continued use in 7.7% of opioid-naive patients 1 year after surgery.

Other results have linked the prescription of opioids after short-stay surgery to a 44% greater risk for prolonged opioid use. While judicious management of opioids is warranted in all patients, the current growing opioid epidemic warrants meticulous weaning of pain medications postoperatively.

The study was published in Current Pain and Headache Reports. In the ambulatory surgery settings, such direction is very necessary given limited immediate postoperative follow-up for patients being discharged from the hospital.

New Brain Cells In Adults Grow Old As They Age

Scientists find signs of new brain cells in adults as old as 79. They present new evidence that our brains continue to make hundreds of new neurons a day, even after we reach our 70s, in a process known as neurogenesis. To come to this conclusion, they looked at the brains of 28 deceased people aged 14 to 79. Their goal was to see whether aging affects neuron production. The study was published in Cell Stem Cell.