MASK stands for Mayo Anesthesia Safety in Kids study. Sometimes small children need to go to sleep for an operation (this is called “anesthesia”). This study will help us learn if anesthesia in small children causes later problems with learning and memory.


Rochester, Minn.

Trial status:

Open for Enrollment

Why is this study being done?

Other people have found that when baby animals (mice, rats, monkeys and others) get anesthesia, sometimes it can change their brains and cause problems with learning later in life. Other people, including us, have looked at the records of kids who needed anesthesia as babies and toddlers. Some, but not all, of these studies seem to show that kids who need anesthesia are more likely to have problems with learning when they start school. But there are some problems with these studies, and it is hard to tell whether or not anesthesia is really causing problems. In this new study, we will do some special tests that will help us know whether anesthesia is causing any problems or not.

Who is eligible to participate?

We are inviting 1000 kids who were born in Rochester, MN and still live in the area to participate. Some will have had anesthetics as babies, some will not. We need two groups of kids: grade-schoolers, age 8 to 12 and high-schoolers, age 15 to 19.

What is involved?

During the study, you’ll sit in a chair and complete tasks that may seem like games or brain teasers, solve different kinds of puzzles, and sometimes draw pictures. There is one part that is like a video game. Some parts use a computer and others a pencil and paper.

How long is the study?

If you decide to be in the study, you will spend four hours at a time that you choose with a Neuro-psychologist.

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