Young brains & anesthesia: Big study suggests minimal risks

Healthy-Livign

CHICAGO (AP) — The largest study of its kind says anesthesia during early childhood surgery poses little risk for intelligence and academics later on.

The results are in research on nearly 200,000 Swedish teens. School grades were only marginally lower in kids who’d had one or more common surgeries with anesthesia before age 4, compared with those who’d had no anesthesia during those early years.

Whether the results apply to children who have more complex or risky surgeries with anesthesia is not known. But the researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and doctors elsewhere called the new results reassuring, given experiments in young animals linking anesthesia drugs with brain damage.

The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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