Genetic Risk, Not Anesthesia Exposure, Affects Cognitive Performance

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    Genetic Risk, Not Anesthesia Exposure,
    Affects Cognitive Performance
             recent study of more than 2,000 identi-     Children, Youth and Families, along with              tive outcomes between children who had

    A        cal twins found that medical problems
             early in life, rather than the neurotoxic
    effects of anesthesia, are likely linked to an
                                                         colleagues Meike Bartels and Dorret
                                                         Boomsma from VU University in the
                                                         Netherlands, examined the relationship
                                                                                                               been exposed to anesthesia versus children
                                                                                                               who had not, there was no difference in
                                                                                                               cognitive outcomes between identical twins
    individual’s risk for developing learning            between anesthesia exposure and cognitive             where one was exposed to anesthesia and the
    disabilities. The study’s findings, reported in      performance, but controlled for genetic asso-         other was not,” said Althoff, who is also
    the journal Twin Research and Human Genetics,        ciation by using a sample of 1,143 identical          assistant professor of psychiatry and pedi-
    contradict research published earlier this year,     Dutch twin pairs (2,286 children total). The          atrics at UVM. “This indicates that exposure
    which concluded that receiving anesthesia 
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