Articles  |   July 2013
John W. Severinghaus Lecture on Translational Science: ‘Understanding What Happens to Memory During Anesthesia’
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Geriatric Anesthesia / Pain Medicine / Pharmacology / Articles
Articles   |   July 2013
John W. Severinghaus Lecture on Translational Science: ‘Understanding What Happens to Memory During Anesthesia’
ASA Monitor 07 2013, Vol.77, 32.
ASA Monitor 07 2013, Vol.77, 32.
Todd C. Sacktor, M.D. will present the Severinghaus Lecture at the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM2013 annual meeting in San Francisco this October.
Dr. Sacktor, a Distinguished Professor of Physiology, Pharma-cology and Neurology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, worked for 20 years on the molecular mechanisms of long-term memory storage. He discovered an isoform of protein kinase C, called PKMζ, which appears to have remarkable properties that allow it to store long-term memories. Inhibiting PKMζ erases old memories, and increasing the kinase enhances them. Next door was the laboratory of Ira Kass, Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology and Pharmacology, and Jim Cottrell, Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology. While discussing science in the hallway, the three decided to look at the role of PKMζ in anesthesia. Together, they found that PKMζ plays a critical role in anesthesia-induced preconditioning. Further work on PKMζ shows how it may maintain memories of pain. Ongoing studies of PKMζ in transgenic animals reveal its crucial role in memory and suggest how anesthesia itself, through abnormal regulation of PKMζ, may cause cognitive abnormalities.
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