Anesthesia and Sleep: A Search for Mechanisms and Research Approaches

  • Julien F. Biebuyck
Part of the Clinical Physiology book series (CLINPHY)


traditional and recent approaches to research addressing the possible mechanisms of deliberate altered consciousness produced by exogenous agents (anesthesia) have included particularly research by neurophysiologists, neurochemists, physical chemists, and more recently biophysicists. At least two Nobel Prize winners have directed their attention to possible mechanisms of action of anesthetic agents (3, 16, 25). Many intellectual leaders in various fields of science have questioned the nature and interrelationship of the sleep, the anesthetic, the comatose, and the awake states. For a time, some fifty to seventy-five years ago, drug-induced altered consciousness was actually considered to be related to an interference with the supply and utilization of oxygen at the cellular level in the brain (27, 30).


Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Oxygen Desaturation Conscious State Nobel Prize Winner Clinical Physiology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aurell, J., And D. Elmqvist. Sleep in the surgical intensive care unit: continuous polygraphic recording of sleep in nine patients receiving postoperative care. Br. Med. J. 290: 1029–1032, 1985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Biebuyck, J. F., And R. A. Hawkins. The effect of anesthetic agents on brain tissue metabolite patterns. Br. J. Anaesth. 44: 226–227, 1972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Biebuyck, J. F., P. Lund, And H. A. Krebs. The effects of halothane (2-bromo-2-chloro1,1,1-trifluoroethane) on glycolysis and biosynthetic processes of the isolated perfused rat liver. Biochem. J. 128: 711–720, 1972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Breckenridge, J. L., And A. R. Aitkenhead. Awareness during anesthesia: a review. Ann. R. Coll. Surg. Engl. 65: 93–96, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Catley, D. M., C. Thornton, C. Jordan, J. R. Lehane, D. Royston, And J. G. Jones. Pronounced, episodic oxygen desaturation in the postoperative period: its association with ventilatory pattern and analgesic regimen. Anesthesiology 63: 20–28, 1985.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Davis, R. Anaesthesia, amnesia, dreams and awareness. Med. J. Aust. 146: 4–5, 1987.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    EIcH, E. Memory for unattended events: remembering with and without awareness. Memory Cognition 12: 105–111, 1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Globus, G. G., G. Maxwell, And I. Svodnick. Consciousness and the Brain, a Scientific and Philosophical Inquiry. New York: Plenum, 1976.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goldmann, L., M. V. Shah, And M. W. Hebden. Memory Of cardiac anesthesia. Anaesthesia 42: 596–603, 1987.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gregory, R. L. Mind in Science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Grenningloh, G., A. Rienitz, B. Schmitt, C. Methfessel, M. Zensen, K. Beyreuther, E. D. Gundelfinger, And H. Betz. The strychnine-binding subunit of the glycine receptor shows homology with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Nature Lond. 328: 215–220, 1987.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    ITo, J., C. H. Markham, And I. S. Curthoys. Modification of vestibular-induced pause neuron firing during anesthesia and light sleep. Exp. Neurol. 95: 571–586, 1987.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jasper, H. H. Pathophysiological studies in brain mechanisms in different states of consciousness. In: Brain and Conscious Experience, edited by J. C. Eccles. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1966, p. 256–282.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jones, J. G., And K. KoNieczko. Hearing and memory in anaesthetized patients. Br. Med. J. 292: 1291–1293, 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    JOwEtt, M., And J. H. Quastel. The effects of narcotics on tissue oxidations. Biochem. J. 31: 565–578, 1937.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Krebs, H. A., L. V. Eggleston, And A. D’Allesandro. The effect of succinate and amytal on the reduction of acetoacetate in animal tissues. Biochem. J. 79: 537–549, 1961.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Krnjevic, K. Cellular and synaptic effects of general anesthetics. In: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Anesthetics, edited by S. H. Roth and K. W. Miller. New York: Plenum, 1986, p. 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Livingstone, M. S., And D. H. Hubel. Effects of sleep and arousal on the processing of visual information in the cat. Nature Lond. 291: 554–561, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lowry, O. H., J. V. Passonneau, F. X. Hasselberger, And D. W. Schulz. Effect of ischemia on known substrates and cofactors of the glycolytic pathway in brain. J. Biol. Chem. 239: 18–30, 1964.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Meyer, H. H. Theories of narcosis. In: Harvey Lectures. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, 1906, p. 11–17.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Miller, K. W., And S. H. Roth. Inside the “black box.” In: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Anesthetics, edited by S. H. Roth and K. W. Miller. New York: Plenum, 1986, p. 261–266.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nelson, S. R., D. W. Schulz, J. V. Passonneau, And O. H. Lowry. Control of glycogen levels in brain. J. Neurochem. 15: 1271–1279, 1968.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nilsson, L., And B. K. SiesjÖ. The effect of anesthetics upon labile phosphates and upon extra-and intra-cellular lactate, pyruvate and bicarbonate concentrations in the rat brain. Acta Physiol. Scand. 80: 235–248, 1970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Noda, H., And W. R. Adey. Neuronal activity in the association cortex of the cat during sleep, wakefulness, and anesthesia. Brain Res. 54: 243–259, 1973.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pauling, L. A molecular theory of general anesthesia. Science Wash. DC 134: 15–21, 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Popper, K. R., And J. C. Eccles. The Self and Its Brain, an Argument for Interactivism. London: Springer-Verlag, 1977.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Quastel, J. H., And A. H. M. Wheatley. Narcosis and oxidations of the brain. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 112: 60–79, 1932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schofield, P. R., M. G. Darlison, N. Fujita, D. R. Burt, F. A. Stephenson, H. Rodriquez, L. M. Rhee, J. Ramachandran, V. Reale, T. A. Glencorse, P. H. Seeburg, And E. A. Barnard. Sequence and functional expression of the Gabaa receptor shows a ligand-gated receptor super-family Nature Lond. 328: 221–227, 1987.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Stevens, C. F. Channel families in the brain. Nature Lond. 328: 198–199, 1987.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Verworn, M. Narcosis. In: Harvey Lectures (1911–1912). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, 1912.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© American Physiological Society 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julien F. Biebuyck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaThe Pennsylvania State University College of MedicineHersheyUSA

Personalised recommendations