, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 585-588
Date: 29 Feb 2012

Neuroanesthesia: from bench to bed

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Abstract

It has been over 40 years since the term “neuroanesthesia” emerged. The anesthesiologists specializing in neuroanesthesia have actively conducted basic research on cerebral ischemia as well as on cerebral blood flow and metabolism. However, translating the results of basic research using experimental animals into clinical applications has been often unsuccessful, especially in the area of cerebral ischemia. The negative results produced by a series of hugely costly and time-consuming collaborative multicenter trials have disappointed many researchers. It could be argued that discrepancies in the efficacy of an agent ought to be viewed in the context of the differences between experimental animals and humans since they have considerably different higher-order functions, and consequently the relevance of using experimental animals is brought into question. Nevertheless, the accuracy of basic research can be improved by taking measures to reduce bias. Taking such measures may enable more careful judgments to be made at the basic research stage and prevent unnecessary clinical studies. Although it could be seen as taking a slight detour, it is advisable to create a system that facilitates confirmation of the original findings by a multicenter basic research project before starting a collaborative multicenter clinical trial.