A common endpoint of general anesthetics is behavioral unresponsiveness [1], which is commonly associated with loss of consciousness. However, subjects can become disconnected from the environment while still having conscious experiences, as demonstrated by sleep states associated with dreaming [2]. Among anesthetics, ketamine is remarkable [3] in that it induces profound unresponsiveness, but subjects often report "ketamine dreams" upon emergence from anesthesia [4-9]. Here, we aimed at assessing consciousness during anesthesia with propofol, xenon, and ketamine, independent of behavioral responsiveness. To do so, in 18 healthy volunteers, we measured the complexity of the cortical response to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-an approach that has proven helpful in assessing objectively the level of consciousness irrespective of sensory processing and motor responses [10]. In addition, upon emergence from anesthesia, we collected reports about conscious experiences during unresponsiveness. Both frontal and parietal TMS elicited a low-amplitude electroencephalographic (EEG) slow wave corresponding to a local pattern of cortical activation with low complexity during propofol anesthesia, a high-amplitude EEG slow wave corresponding to a global, stereotypical pattern of cortical activation with low complexity during xenon anesthesia, and a wakefulness-like, complex spatiotemporal activation pattern during ketamine anesthesia. Crucially, participants reported no conscious experience after emergence from propofol and xenon anesthesia, whereas after ketamine they reported long, vivid dreams unrelated to the external environment. These results are relevant because they suggest that brain complexity may be sensitive to the presence of disconnected consciousness in subjects who are considered unconscious based on behavioral responses. Sarasso, Boly, etal. show that the complexity of the cortical response to TMS is low during propofol and xenon anesthesia but high during ketamine. Crucially, no reports are obtained upon awakening from both propofol and xenon while after ketamine, all subjects report long, vivid dreams, possibly indicating a state of disconnected consciousness.

Consciousness and complexity during unresponsiveness induced by propofol, xenon, and ketamine / S. Sarasso, M. Boly, M. Napolitani, O. Gosseries, V. Charland Verville, S. Casarotto, M. Rosanova, A.G. Casali, J. Brichant, P. Boveroux, S. Rex, G. Tononi, S. Laureys, M. Massimini. - In: CURRENT BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0960-9822. - 25:23(2015 Dec), pp. 3099-3105. [10.1016/j.cub.2015.10.014]

Consciousness and complexity during unresponsiveness induced by propofol, xenon, and ketamine

S. Sarasso;M. Napolitani;S. Casarotto;M. Rosanova;M. Massimini
2015-12

Abstract

A common endpoint of general anesthetics is behavioral unresponsiveness [1], which is commonly associated with loss of consciousness. However, subjects can become disconnected from the environment while still having conscious experiences, as demonstrated by sleep states associated with dreaming [2]. Among anesthetics, ketamine is remarkable [3] in that it induces profound unresponsiveness, but subjects often report "ketamine dreams" upon emergence from anesthesia [4-9]. Here, we aimed at assessing consciousness during anesthesia with propofol, xenon, and ketamine, independent of behavioral responsiveness. To do so, in 18 healthy volunteers, we measured the complexity of the cortical response to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-an approach that has proven helpful in assessing objectively the level of consciousness irrespective of sensory processing and motor responses [10]. In addition, upon emergence from anesthesia, we collected reports about conscious experiences during unresponsiveness. Both frontal and parietal TMS elicited a low-amplitude electroencephalographic (EEG) slow wave corresponding to a local pattern of cortical activation with low complexity during propofol anesthesia, a high-amplitude EEG slow wave corresponding to a global, stereotypical pattern of cortical activation with low complexity during xenon anesthesia, and a wakefulness-like, complex spatiotemporal activation pattern during ketamine anesthesia. Crucially, participants reported no conscious experience after emergence from propofol and xenon anesthesia, whereas after ketamine they reported long, vivid dreams unrelated to the external environment. These results are relevant because they suggest that brain complexity may be sensitive to the presence of disconnected consciousness in subjects who are considered unconscious based on behavioral responses. Sarasso, Boly, etal. show that the complexity of the cortical response to TMS is low during propofol and xenon anesthesia but high during ketamine. Crucially, no reports are obtained upon awakening from both propofol and xenon while after ketamine, all subjects report long, vivid dreams, possibly indicating a state of disconnected consciousness.
agricultural and biological sciences (all); biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (all)
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/354848
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