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Anaesthesia does not lower IQ in children

New York, April 18: There is no evidence to prove that children below three years of age who were given anaesthesia had lower intelligence level than those who did not have it, say researchers. In 2016, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned that prolonged or repeated sedation before age three may affect brain development. However, the warning was based largely on data from animals, which may or may not apply to children, said the researchers from Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
The new study showed that intelligence, memory and several other measures of brain function were similar among those who received anaesthesia and did not. “For the majority of kids undergoing surgery, the results overall are reassuring,” said lead author David Warner, a paediatric anaesthesiologist at Mayo Clinic. “About 80 per cent of kids who need surgery under age three only need one and it’s relatively brief,” he added. However, for those with multiple exposures to anaesthesia had modest declines in fine motor skills, but their parents reported more learning and behavioural problems. (IANS)