New reports reveal that there may be a link between ADHD and anesthesia in kids who are exposed to the chemical at an early age.
(Image Source: JAMA ) BY GILLIAN STEDMAN ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO A new report reveals the chances of developing ADHD is said to double for children who are exposed to two or more anesthetics before the age of two. CBS reports… “Doctors say anesthesia can actually change the way the brain develops so that could be how it’s linked to ADHD. For now though doctors say parents need to do what’s best for their child.” This research stemmed from similar experiments involving young animals. Dr. David Warner, lead researcher and pediatric anesthesiologist at Mayo Clinic spoke to Fox News... “There started to be some papers published that suggested if you administered anesthesia to animals during development, it would cause some of the nerve cells in the brain to die, which would then lead to later changes in learning and behavior,” Following this, the Mayo Clinic researched these effects on humans. But Peter J. Davis, anesthesiologist-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh says the new findings should not discourage necessary surgery. CNN reports… “There is no data to suggest that kids who require surgery shouldn’t have it…The issues of surgery and anesthesia really can’t be separated in all this.” Researchers have stressed that this study does not prove a link between anesthesia and ADHD, just that the two are associated. But Dr. Roderick Eckenhoff, a practising anesthesiologist from Philidelphia spoke to ABC news… “I think parents should take this very seriously, although we don’t know the mechanism whether it’s the drug or the procedure - to the parents it doesn’t matter because we have to do both.” The FDA has started an initiative called ‘Smart Tots’ to raise money to fund further research into this area.