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CNS Targets of Propofol's Hypnotic and Memory Effects

18 Years
45 Years
Open (Enrolling)

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Trial Information

CNS Targets of Propofol's Hypnotic and Memory Effects

We wish to seek evidence of a neuroanatomical basis for the separation of the
sedative/hypnotic and amnesic effects of propofol by imaging electrophysiologic and regional
cerebral blood flow (rCBF) changes to identify these. Our main hypothesis is that there are
differing neuroanatomical regions mediating drug-induced sedation and amnesia, and that
these can be identified by specific changes in electrophysiology and rCBF.
Electrophysiologic changes will be mapped using a validated electroencephalographic (EEG)
mapping technique, Low Resolution brain Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA). (1) Changes in
brain activity will be identified with high spatial resolution using magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) and statistical parametric mapping (SPM). (2) To identify key regions out of
possibly many exhibiting changes in brain activity during propofol administration, we plan
to manipulate drug-induced sedation by using thiopental, a sedative drug with few memory
effects active at the same receptors as propofol.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Healthy normal volunteers who show no evidence of neurologic deficit on questionnaire
and physical examination

- Females of child-bearing age must be non-pregnant as demonstrated using a pregnancy
test, non-lactating, and must be using adequate contraception or be surgically

- Age 18 years to 45 years

- Right hand dominant

- High school education or above(to ensure consistent performance on the memory tests
being administered)

- English as native language or equivalent degree of fluency

Exclusion Criteria:

- Any evidence of neurologic deficit including seizures, history of severe head trauma
or any previously or current abnormal study of CNS - (eg. MRI, EEG, etc.)

- Any deficit in auditory or visual ability that would prevent performance of the study

- History of claustrophobia

- Any history of hypertension (resting BP >150 systolic, >100 diastolic) or taking
anti- hypertensive medication

- Any history of cardiovascular disease including previous myocardial infarction,
arrhythmia, heart valve disease, or cardiac murmur

- Significant pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal, or endocrine metabolic disease which
in the opinion of the investigator would complicate the goals of this study

- Allergy to propofol, thiopental, eggs or history of acute intermittent porphyria,
history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylactic shock)

- History of substance abuse

- Currently taking centrally acting medications (benzodiazepines or other anxiolytics,
antidepressants, antipsychotic agents, or agents affecting the cerebral vasculature)

- Any one who is not NPO for at least 6 hours

- Any implant incompatible with MR scanning

- Anyone who, in the opinion of the investigators, would be unwilling or unable to
tolerate the procedures and/or comply with the task instructions

- Body Mass Index (BMI) > 30

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Prospective

Outcome Measure:

Demonstrate the persistence of defined stimulation-related changes in brain activity during various levels of propofol and thiopental sedation.

Outcome Time Frame:

fifteen hours over several different days

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Robert Veselis, MD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

May 2002

Completion Date:

May 2013

Related Keywords:

  • Healthy
  • healthy volunteers
  • amnesic effects



Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York, New York  10021