Yumiko Ishizawa, M.D.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia
Harvard Medical School
Assistant Anesthetist
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
MD University of Tsukuba - Japan 1985
anesthesia; anesthesia general; anesthetics inhalation; carotid body; general anesthesia; global warming; halothane; nonlinear dynamics; reticular formation; unconsciousness

Research Areas

  • Cortical mechanisms of general anesthetic-induced loss of consciousness

  • Neural functional connectivity in the cerebral cortex under general anesthesia

  • The mechanisms of general anesthetic inhibition of higher-order neurons

  • Neural and behavioral recovery from general anesthesia

  • Advanced analysis of neural activities

  • Establishing a non-human primate model for anesthesia mechanism research

Description of Research

My goal in research is to understand how and where in the brain general anesthetics induce behavioral changes (e.g. loss of consciousness), using a multidisciplinary approach, including behavioral and systems neuroscience, electrophysiology, and molecular and cellular biology.

My current project focuses on the cortical neural mechanisms of general anesthesia and we have recently developed a non-human primate model in order to fully describe the dynamic features of neural change during the awake anesthetized continuum. In this model, we record both cortical single neuron activities and local field potentials simultaneously from multiple cortical areas, along with the animal's behavioral response.

Preliminary studies indicate that the animal's loss of responsiveness coincides with distinct sequential changes in neural synchronization, strongly suggesting significant change in functional connectivity (presented in 2012 at IARS and ASA).

The work may lead not only to better neurophysiological monitors to prevent intraoperative awareness and safer anesthesia, but also to understanding of a fundamental question: how consciousness arises in the brain.

Publications Clinical Profile

Gray / Jackson
80 Blossom Street
Boston, MA 02114