Researchers find why ICU ventilation can cause brain damage – Medical News Today

Patients who have been mechanically ventilated in intensive care units have long been known to suffer some form of mental impairment as a result. Now, researchers have uncovered a molecular mechanism that may explain why this happens.The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, was conducted by researchers from the University of Oviedo in Spain, St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada, and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.The researchers say that a minimum of 30% of patients in intensive care units (ICU) suffer some form of mental dysfunction, such as anxiety, depression, and most commonly, delirium. They note that the incidence of delirium in patients who are mechanically ventilated is around 80%.They hypothesized that this may be partly a result of damage in the hippocampus, but how ventilation causes this damage has been unclear.Dopamine a cause of apoptosisResearchers have discovered a molecular mechanism that may explain why some patients who are mechanically ventilated in ICUs suffer mental impairments.For their study, the research team analyzed the harvested brains of mice who had been connected to low or high-pressure ventilation for 90 minutes, alongside the brains of control mice who had not been on ventilation.In comparison with the control mice, the mice on ventilation showed evidence of neuronal cell death in the hippocampus as a result of apoptosis – the process of programmed cell death (PCD).

Source: Researchers find why ICU ventilation can cause brain damage – Medical News Today

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