Is Xenon a Future Neuroprotectant?

Pamela Sun; Jianteng Gu; Mervyn Maze; Daqing Ma


Future Neurology. 2009;14(4):483-492. 

In This Article


Acute neuronal injury has devastating consequences, with increased risks of morbidity and mortality. Currently, there is a distinct lack of effective clinical strategies to obviate this problem. Xenon, a safe and effective anesthetic, has been shown to exhibit neuroprotective effects. Preclinical data obtained from animal models of stroke, neonatal asphyxia and global ischemia induced by cardiac arrest as well as recently of traumatic brain injury, suggest that xenon may potentially be an ideal candidate as a neuroprotectant. In addition, xenon may prevent neurotoxic effects by commonly used anesthetics, namely nitrous oxide and isoflurane. With such promising beneficial effects, further animal and clinical trials are warranted to determine the efficacy of xenon as a neuroprotectant. Clinical translation may result in a new therapeutic avenue for patients suffering from acute neuronal injuries such as stroke, global ischemia induced by cardiac arrest, neonatal hypoxic asphyxia and traumatic brain injury.