Open Access Cerebral Hemodynamics and Brain Functional Activity During Lower Body Negative Pressure

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Abstract:

Han W-Q, Hu W-D, Dong M-Q, Fu Z-J, Wen Z-H, Cheng H-W, Ma J, Ma R-S. Cerebral hemodynamics and brain functional activity during lower body negative pressure. Aviat Space Environ Med 2009; 80:698–702.

Introduction: Exposure to high +Gz acceleration forces on a centrifuge or in an aircraft can severely decrease cerebral blood perfusion and cause rapid G-induced loss of consciousness. However, milder acceleration may gradually reduce cerebral blood flow and affect cognitive function in subtler ways. This study used lower body negative pressure (LBNP) to mimic +Gz circulatory effects in order to study cerebral hemodynamics and brain function. Methods: Subjects were 15 healthy men, 19-21 yr of age. They were exposed to LBNP at two levels for 5 min each separated by a 10-min recovery period. The conditions were low (LO), −4.00 kPa (−30 mmHg) and high (HI), −6.67 kPa (−50 mmHg). Variables measured before, during, and after LBNP included cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) in the middle cerebral artery, blood oxygen saturation (Sao2), heart rate (HR), blood pressure, P300 of event-related EEG potentials, reaction time, and tracking error. Results: LO significantly reduced CBFV at 4 and 5 min, increased HR, and decreased the amplitude of P300, but none of the other variables changed from baseline. In contrast, HI produced significant changes in most variables: CBFV decreased at 2 min and then fell further at 4 and 5 min, HR increased, and Sao2 decreased. Significant neurocognitive changes included increased latency and reduced amplitude of P300, slower reaction time, and greater tracking error. Conclusion: The higher level of LBNP used here reduced cerebral perfusion sufficiently to impair neurocognitive function. This model may be useful for further studies of these and other variables under closely controlled conditions.

Keywords: LBNP; P300; brain function; cerebral blood flow; event related potentials; reaction time; tracking error

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3357/ASEM.2267.2009

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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