Effects of Dexmedetomidine on Cognitive Function, Oxidative Stress and Brain Protection in Patients Undergoing Craniocerebral Surgery


  • Yan Fu Department of Anesthesiology, The First People’s Hospital of Daishan, 316200 Zhoushan, Zhejiang, China
  • Zhu Jin Department of Anesthesiology, Sahzu International Medical Center, 311215 Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China




dexmedetomidine, cranial surgery, cognitive function, oxidative stress, brain protection


Background: The protective mechanism of dexmedetomidine on the brains of patients undergoing craniocerebral surgery remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of dexmedetomidine on cognitive function, oxidative stress, and brain protection in such patients.

Methods: Fifty-four patients who underwent craniocerebral surgery at our hospital from January 2020 to June 2023 were retrospectively selected as study subjects. They were divided into two groups: the control group (n = 27) and the study group (n = 27), based on different auxiliary anesthesia protocols. Patients in the study group received dexmedetomidine before anesthesia induction, using a midline intravenous pump to assist anesthesia, while the control group received an equivalent amount of normal saline. The remaining anesthesia induction and maintenance protocols were consistent for both groups. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) before and 1 day after surgery for both groups. Oxidative stress indicators, including malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in the serum of both groups, were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, changes in postoperative brain injury indicators, namely neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and central nervous system-specific protein (S100β), were detected and compared in the serum of both groups. Concurrently, postoperative adverse reactions were recorded for both groups.

Results: The MMSE scale scores of both groups of patients 24 hours after surgery were significantly lower than those before surgery. However, the MMSE scale scores of the study group patients were notably higher than those in the control group, with a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05). One hour after surgery, the serum levels of MDA, GSH-Px, and SOD in both groups of patients were significantly elevated compared to pre-surgery levels. Yet, the study group exhibited significantly lower levels of MDA, GSH-Px, and SOD in comparison to the control group, and these differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05). The serum levels of NSE and S100β in both groups were markedly higher than preoperative levels 24 hours after surgery. However, the study group demonstrated significantly lower levels of serum NSE and S100β compared to the control group, with a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05). The incidence of postoperative complications in the study group was 7.41% (2/27), indicating a decreasing trend compared to 18.52% (5/27) in the control group. However, this difference did not reach statistical significance (χ2 = 1.477, p = 0.224).

Conclusion: Dexmedetomidine-assisted anesthesia in craniocerebral surgery can effectively enhance postoperative cognitive function, mitigate oxidative stress, and facilitate overall postoperative recovery for patients. The intervention exhibits a favorable safety profile with no reported serious adverse reactions, establishing it as a relatively safe and reliable approach.




How to Cite

Fu, Yan, and Zhu Jin. “Effects of Dexmedetomidine on Cognitive Function, Oxidative Stress and Brain Protection in Patients Undergoing Craniocerebral Surgery”. Actas Españolas De Psiquiatría, vol. 52, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 19-27, doi:10.62641/aep.v52i1.1551.