Reference : Acute and Chronic Altitude-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction in Children and Adolescents.
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Acute and Chronic Altitude-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction in Children and Adolescents.
Rimoldi, Stefano F. [> >]
Rexhaj, Emrush [> >]
Duplain, Herve [> >]
Urben, Sebastien [> >]
Billieux, Joël mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)]
Allemann, Yves [> >]
Romero, Catherine [> >]
Ayaviri, Alejandro [> >]
Salinas, Carlos [> >]
Villena, Mercedes [> >]
Scherrer, Urs [> >]
Sartori, Claudio [> >]
The Journal of pediatrics
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
United States
[en] Acute Disease ; Adolescent ; Altitude ; Altitude Sickness/complications ; Child ; Chronic Disease ; Cognition/physiology ; Cognition Disorders/diagnosis/etiology/physiopathology ; Female ; Humans ; Hypoxia/complications ; Male ; Memory Disorders ; Neuropsychological Tests
[en] OBJECTIVE: To assess whether exposure to high altitude induces cognitive dysfunction in young healthy European children and adolescents during acute, short-term exposure to an altitude of 3450 m and in an age-matched European population permanently living at this altitude. STUDY DESIGN: We tested executive function (inhibition, shifting, and working memory), memory (verbal, short-term visuospatial, and verbal episodic memory), and speed processing ability in: (1) 48 healthy nonacclimatized European children and adolescents, 24 hours after arrival at high altitude and 3 months after return to low altitude; (2) 21 matched European subjects permanently living at high altitude; and (3) a matched control group tested twice at low altitude. RESULTS: Short-term hypoxia significantly impaired all but 2 (visuospatial memory and processing speed) of the neuropsychological abilities that were tested. These impairments were even more severe in the children permanently living at high altitude. Three months after return to low altitude, the neuropsychological performances significantly improved and were comparable with those observed in the control group tested only at low altitude. CONCLUSIONS: Acute short-term exposure to an altitude at which major tourist destinations are located induces marked executive and memory deficits in healthy children. These deficits are equally marked or more severe in children permanently living at high altitude and are expected to impair their learning abilities.
Copyright (c) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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