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Dissociative anaesthesia

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A form of anaesthesia in which the transmission of nerve impulses between the cerebral cortex and limbic system is inhibited, thus inhibiting anxiety and the formation of long-term memory


Anaesthesia is an induced reversible loss of pain and other sensations. It may involve the loss of sensation of pain (analgesia) and/or an extreme muscle relaxation (paralysis). It may also cause amnesia and unconsciousness. There are three forms of anaesthesia: (1) general anaesthesia, (2) dissociative anaesthesia, and (3) local anaesthesia.

Dissociative anaesthesia is a form of anaesthesia and its use is to reduce the irritability or agitation. It is characterized by a cataleptoid state wherein the eyes remain open but with a slow nystagmic gaze. The dissociative agent interrupts ascending transmission from certain parts of the brain, particularly those associated with unconscious and conscious functions. The action of the dissociative drug does not involve generalized depression of all brain centers as general anaesthetics would.1 Some of the dissociative agents used in inducing anaesthesia are ketamine and tiletamine.


  • dissociative anesthesia


  • sedation

See also:

1 Grimm, K., Tranquilli, W. & Lamont, L. (2011). Essentials of small animal anesthesia and analgesia. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. p.55.