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The word anaesthesia—means WITHOUT FEELING. This describes accurately the effect of ether in the anaesthetic dosage. Although there no pain felt during operations when anaesthesia is inhaled, the *nerve impulses excited by a surgical operation still reaches the brain. Not every portion of the brain is fully anesthetized, since surgical anaesthesia does not kill and this allows the nerve impulses to reach the brain. This gives rise to the question : What will be the effect of trauma upon the part of the that remains awake? If in surgical anaesthesia, the traumatic impulses cause an excitation of the wide-awake cells, how are the remainder of the cells of the brain, despite anaesthesia, affected? Also, are they prevented by the anaesthesia from expressing that influence of nerve stimulus in conscious perception or in muscular action. Whether the ANESTHETIZED cells are influenced or not must be determined by noting the physiologic functions of the body after anaesthesia has worn off. This can be done in animals by an examination of the brain-cells. The effect of Anaesthesia on the vasomotor, the cardiac, and the respiratory centers discharging energy in response to traumatic stimuli applied to various sensitive regions of the body during surgical anaesthesia have long been known. If the trauma is more, exhaustion of the entire brain will be observed after the effect of the anaesthesia has worn off. In spite of the complete paralysis of voluntary motion and the loss of consciousness due to ether, the traumatic impulses that are known to reach the AWAKE centers in the medulla also reach and influence every other part of the brain. The functional depression which is a consequence of the morphologic alterations seen in the brain-cells may be due to the low blood-pressure which follows excessive trauma is shown by the experiments. The circulation of animals was first rendered STATIC by over-transfusion, and was controlled by a continuous blood-pressure record on a drum. In each of the instances, morphologic changes in the cells of all parts of the brain were found, but it required much more trauma to produce brain-cell changes in animals whose blood-pressure was kept at the normal level than in the animals whose blood-pressure was allowed to take a downward course. In the cortex and in the cerebellum, the changes in the brain-cells were in every instance more marked than in the medulla.

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Word Lists:

Traumatic : emotionally disturbing or distressing

Trauma : a deeply distressing or disturbing experience

Cerebellum : the part of the brain at the back of the skull in vertebrates. Its function is to coordinate and regulate muscular activity.

Surgical : relating to or used in surgery

Cardiac : relating to the heart

Respiratory : relating to or affecting respiration or the organs of respiration

Functional : of or having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates

Ether : a pleasant-smelling colorless volatile liquid that is highly flammable. It is used as an anesthetic and as a solvent or intermediate in industrial processes.

Paralysis : the loss of the ability to move (and sometimes to feel anything) in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness, poison, or injury

Brain : an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating center of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity


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