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A 42-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me how can anesthesia work?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bruce Chou
Anesthesiology 19 years experience
Cutting off signals: Think of consciousness and the perception of pain as a complicated simultaneous communication amongst multiple brain cells. Most brain cells work like wires which talk to several others (up to 1000's!). If any of the wires are prevented from transmitting their signals, that contributes to loss of consciousness. Anesthesia prevents multiple wires from transmitting, with compounded effects.
Dr. Geoffrey Ndeto
Anesthesiology 45 years experience
Unknown.: Theories as to how general anesthesia works abound but simply put, the precise mechanism of action remains unknown.

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Last updated Oct 23, 2014

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