Please register and log-in to create and edit pages

### User Tools

Please register and log-in to create and edit pages

### Site Tools

Click categories to expand

Other categories

Also see

Importance Ratingsplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigImportance ratings

In a departure from the usual Wiki format, Wikenigma assigns 'Importance Ratings' to some pages.

The idea is to separate articles which are considered (by the editors) to cover exceptionally important unknown issues from those which (although also u…

Newsplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigNews

[ newest at the top ]

• Jan 2021 : A milestone of 600 unknown articles has been reached.

• Oct 2020 : A milestone of 500 unknown articles has been reached.

• Aug 2020 : Currently (beta) testing the new 'WYSIWYG' (What You See Is What You Get

Contactsplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigContacts

Use this form to send a message to Wikenigma . . . [ * note: all fields must be completed ]

Legalplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigLegal

Content in general

Please note that in common with other publicly editable wikis, this website is not responsible for content posted by the public. Nevertheless, the ongoing editing process should be able to remove unsuitable content in a reasonable time. If you…

Donate/Sponsorplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigDonate to Wikenigma . . .

The best way to donate is by adding new original content !

That can either be by contributing to an existing article, or by creating a new page with an as-yet-unlisted 'Known Unknown'.

Any registered user can create content.

Registerplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigRegistration

At present, only registered users can create and edit articles.

If you'd like to register as a contributor, please request a password.

When filling in the form, make sure you supply a valid e-mail address, as the login password will be sent to that addre…

Wikenigma supports:

Utilities
A-Z listingplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigA-Z listing

This is an alphabetical index of all content pages.

sitemap file

# General Anaesthetics

A general anaesthetic is a drug that brings about a reversible loss of consciousness. In formal use since 1842 - with the first public demonstration of the use of Diethyl ether to carry out surgery. (Though it's likely that alcohol, another chemical classed as an anaesthetic, was previously used, extensively, for similar purposes).

Since then, many other compounds with similar effects have been discovered, and several are now in routine use as general anaesthetics. But the neurological pathways by which general anaesthetics work are still unclear.

“It has always been believed that general anaesthetics exert their effects (analgesia, amnesia, immobility) by modulating the activity of membrane proteins in the neuronal membrane. However, the exact location and mechanism of this action are still largely unknown although much research has been done in this area.”

source: Wikipedia.

An in-depth article by Philip Ball in New Scientist, March 1st 2017 covers the yet-to-be-resolved mysteries surrounding general anaesthetics.

Note: A further anomaly has recently gained attention with regard to xenon. The (extremely inert) gas works efficiently as a general anaesthetic, with low toxicity. It's known to be an NMDA inhibitor but :

“It is not possible to state categorically which […] effects on ligand-gated and receptor-gated ion channels are causally linked to the anaesthetic action of xenon.”

Given its rarity, xenon is expensive for medical use - but it can be recovered (almost 100%) from exhalations.

See: Xenon: no stranger to anaesthesia British Journal of Anaesthesia 91 (5)

Observation The xenon phenomenon might warrant a separate item

Importance Rating

## Dear reader : Do you have any suggestions for the site's content?

Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.

If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !

Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.

( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)

Show another (random) page

### Page Tools

DOKUWIKI IMPLEMENTATION DESIGN BY UNIV.ORG.UK FEBRUARY 2021