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A Double-edged Sword: Microglial Reactivity and Anesthesia in the Developing Brain

Nathan, Naveen MD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004097
Infographics: Infographic

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (

Published ahead of print 24 January 2019.

The Infographic is composed by Naveen Nathan, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine ( Illustration by Naveen Nathan, MD.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

A variety of perinatal conditions such as fetal asphyxia and prematurity may result in neuro-developmental disorders. Central neuroinflammation plays a significant role under such conditions and central to this process is the microglial cell. Interestingly, as described by Baud and Saint-Faust, microglial cells issue protective effects in the CNS in the maintenance of neural networks and connectivity, in addition to mitigating aging neurons. Anesthetic drugs additionally modify the activity of microglial cells which may implicate the degree of protective versus inflammatory effects that occur. For a full scope and understanding of this subject, the reader is strongly encouraged to review the referenced article.

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1. Baud O, Saint-Faust M. Neuroinflammation in the developing brain: risk factors, involvement of microglial cells, and implication for early anesthesia. Anesth Analg. 2019;128:718–725.
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