Inert Gas Narcosis, the High Pressure Neurological Syndrome, and the Critical Volume Hypothesis

Science  06 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4154, pp. 867-869
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4154.867


The hypothesis that general anesthesia or pressure-induced convulsions occur when a hydrophobic region is expanded or compressed, respectively, by critical amounts is consistent with recent data obtained with mice. Calculations show that anesthesia occurs at an expansion of 1.1 percent and convulsions at a compression of 0.85 percent, the latter site of action being more compressible.