Limits...
Correlation between Patent Foramen Ovale, Cerebral "Lesions" and Neuropsychometric Testing in Experienced Sports Divers: Does Diving Damage the Brain?

Balestra C, Germonpré P - Front Psychol (2016)

Bottom Line: Neuro-psychometry results were compared with a control group of normal subjects and a separate control group for subjects exposed to neurotoxic solvents.We conclude that for uneventful recreational diving, PFO does not appear to influence the presence of UBO's.Diving by itself seems to cause some decrease of short-term memory and higher cognitive function, including visual-motor skills; this resembles some of the effects of nitrogen narcosis and we suggest that this may be a prolonged effect of diving.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: DAN Europe Research DivisionBrussels, Belgium; Faculté des Sciences de la Motricité, Université Libre de BruxellesBrussels, Belgium; Motor Sciences and Physiotherapy, Environmental and Occupational (Integrative) Physiology, Haute Ecole Paul Henri SpaakBrussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
SCUBA diving exposes divers to decompression sickness (DCS). There has been considerable debate whether divers with a Patent Foramen Ovale of the heart have a higher risk of DCS because of the possible right-to-left shunt of venous decompression bubbles into the arterial circulation. Symptomatic neurological DCS has been shown to cause permanent damage to brain and spinal cord tissue; it has been suggested that divers with PFO may be at higher risk of developing subclinical brain lesions because of repeated asymptomatic embolization of decompression-induced nitrogen bubbles. These studies however suffer from several methodological flaws, including self-selection bias. We recruited 200 volunteer divers from a recreational diving population who had never suffered from DCS; we then randomly selected 50 of those for further investigation. The selected divers underwent brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging to detect asymptomatic brain lesions, contrast trans-oesophageal echocardiography for PFO, and extensive neuro-psychometric testing. Neuro-psychometry results were compared with a control group of normal subjects and a separate control group for subjects exposed to neurotoxic solvents. Forty two divers underwent all the tests and are included in this report. Grade 2 Patent Foramen Ovale was found in 16 (38%) of the divers; brain Unidentified Bright Objects (UBO's) were found in 5 (11.9%). There was no association between PFO and the presence of UBO's (P = 0.693) or their size (p = 0.5) in divers. Neuropsychometric testing in divers was significantly worse from controls in two tests, Digit Span Backwards (DSB; p < 0.05) and Symbol-Digit-Substitution (SDS; p < 0.01). Compared to subjects exposed to neurotoxic solvents, divers scored similar on DSB and SDS tests, but significantly better on the Simple Reaction Time (REA) and Hand-Eye Coordination (EYE) tests. There was no correlation between PFO, number of UBO's and any of the neuro-psychometric tests. We conclude that for uneventful recreational diving, PFO does not appear to influence the presence of UBO's. Diving by itself seems to cause some decrease of short-term memory and higher cognitive function, including visual-motor skills; this resembles some of the effects of nitrogen narcosis and we suggest that this may be a prolonged effect of diving.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Symbol Digit Substitution (SDS); data are presented as mean and standard deviation bars; **p < 0.01; NS, Not Significant; (Mann–Whitney test).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4863080&req=5

Figure 3: Symbol Digit Substitution (SDS); data are presented as mean and standard deviation bars; **p < 0.01; NS, Not Significant; (Mann–Whitney test).

Mentions: Likewise, for the Symbol-Digit Substitution (SDS), measuring the visual-motor performance (composed of visual sweeping and visual-spatial attention), a significant difference was found between divers (scoring worse) and Control (p < 0.01), whereas there was no difference between divers and the “exposed” group (p = 0.29). Here, both groups scored on average 15–30% worse than expected (see Figure 3).


Correlation between Patent Foramen Ovale, Cerebral "Lesions" and Neuropsychometric Testing in Experienced Sports Divers: Does Diving Damage the Brain?

Balestra C, Germonpré P - Front Psychol (2016)

Symbol Digit Substitution (SDS); data are presented as mean and standard deviation bars; **p < 0.01; NS, Not Significant; (Mann–Whitney test).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4863080&req=5

Figure 3: Symbol Digit Substitution (SDS); data are presented as mean and standard deviation bars; **p < 0.01; NS, Not Significant; (Mann–Whitney test).
Mentions: Likewise, for the Symbol-Digit Substitution (SDS), measuring the visual-motor performance (composed of visual sweeping and visual-spatial attention), a significant difference was found between divers (scoring worse) and Control (p < 0.01), whereas there was no difference between divers and the “exposed” group (p = 0.29). Here, both groups scored on average 15–30% worse than expected (see Figure 3).

Bottom Line: Neuro-psychometry results were compared with a control group of normal subjects and a separate control group for subjects exposed to neurotoxic solvents.We conclude that for uneventful recreational diving, PFO does not appear to influence the presence of UBO's.Diving by itself seems to cause some decrease of short-term memory and higher cognitive function, including visual-motor skills; this resembles some of the effects of nitrogen narcosis and we suggest that this may be a prolonged effect of diving.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: DAN Europe Research DivisionBrussels, Belgium; Faculté des Sciences de la Motricité, Université Libre de BruxellesBrussels, Belgium; Motor Sciences and Physiotherapy, Environmental and Occupational (Integrative) Physiology, Haute Ecole Paul Henri SpaakBrussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
SCUBA diving exposes divers to decompression sickness (DCS). There has been considerable debate whether divers with a Patent Foramen Ovale of the heart have a higher risk of DCS because of the possible right-to-left shunt of venous decompression bubbles into the arterial circulation. Symptomatic neurological DCS has been shown to cause permanent damage to brain and spinal cord tissue; it has been suggested that divers with PFO may be at higher risk of developing subclinical brain lesions because of repeated asymptomatic embolization of decompression-induced nitrogen bubbles. These studies however suffer from several methodological flaws, including self-selection bias. We recruited 200 volunteer divers from a recreational diving population who had never suffered from DCS; we then randomly selected 50 of those for further investigation. The selected divers underwent brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging to detect asymptomatic brain lesions, contrast trans-oesophageal echocardiography for PFO, and extensive neuro-psychometric testing. Neuro-psychometry results were compared with a control group of normal subjects and a separate control group for subjects exposed to neurotoxic solvents. Forty two divers underwent all the tests and are included in this report. Grade 2 Patent Foramen Ovale was found in 16 (38%) of the divers; brain Unidentified Bright Objects (UBO's) were found in 5 (11.9%). There was no association between PFO and the presence of UBO's (P = 0.693) or their size (p = 0.5) in divers. Neuropsychometric testing in divers was significantly worse from controls in two tests, Digit Span Backwards (DSB; p < 0.05) and Symbol-Digit-Substitution (SDS; p < 0.01). Compared to subjects exposed to neurotoxic solvents, divers scored similar on DSB and SDS tests, but significantly better on the Simple Reaction Time (REA) and Hand-Eye Coordination (EYE) tests. There was no correlation between PFO, number of UBO's and any of the neuro-psychometric tests. We conclude that for uneventful recreational diving, PFO does not appear to influence the presence of UBO's. Diving by itself seems to cause some decrease of short-term memory and higher cognitive function, including visual-motor skills; this resembles some of the effects of nitrogen narcosis and we suggest that this may be a prolonged effect of diving.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus