anaesthesia question

ljh at gray.cc.utexas.edu ljh at gray.cc.utexas.edu
Thu Apr 7 18:03:11 EST 1994

I have a health condition which requires that I periodically be
checked by endoscopy, and since I do not have much control over my
gag reflex I get sedated. As a result I have periodically (every
year or two) over the past 6 years been sedated with Demerol.
Initially it would wipe my memory both of the procedure and the
time I was coming out of the anaesthesia pretty completely, but
with repetition it has been less and less effective at blocking
memory formation. (It still works just as well for the intended
purpose of getting me to be calm and cooperative during the
procedure as far as I can tell.) I certainly do not mind remembering
more of the time I spend coming out of the anaesthesia, but I would
like to know what mechanism is responsible for the change. Is my
brain likely to be using different pathways to compensate for the
sedative, is the sedative somehow having less effect on the memory
pathways, or is there some other explanation I can't think of? I've
been wondering about this for some time. If you have an idea about
what is likely to be happening, please email me at
ljh at utxvms.cc.utexas.edu
Also, if you know of any references that would help me answer the
question, please let me know. Thanks.
                        Lisa Harris

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