Molecular mechanisms that underlie the cause of anesthesia-associated seizures have been identified by scientists. The study results have been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
By studying antifibrinolytics in mice, Orser and colleagues found that the drugs inhibited the activity of glycine receptors in the brain, leading to seizures. Seizures could be prevented by co-treatment with the general anesthetic isoflurane. This study explains the causes of and proposes treatment for antifibrinolytic-induced seizures. In a companion commentary, Debra Schwinn of the University of Washington reviews the connection between seizures and antifibrinolytic drugs.