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Neurophysiological evidence for cognitive and brain functional adaptation in adolescents living at high altitude

Richardson, Cassandra, Hogan, Alexandra M., Bucks, Romola S., Baya, Ana, Virues-Ortega, Javier, Holloway, John W., Rose-Zerilli, Matthew, Palmer, Lyle J., Webster, Rebecca J., Kirkham, Fenella J. and Baldeweg, Torsten (2011) Neurophysiological evidence for cognitive and brain functional adaptation in adolescents living at high altitude Clinical Neurophysiology, 122, (9), pp. 1726-1734. (doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2011.02.001). (PMID:21377415).

Record type: Article


OBJECTIVE: Neurophysiological methods were used to study the effects of high altitude living on brain functions in a subgroup of participants of the Bolivian Children Living at Altitude (BoCLA) project. METHODS: Electroencephalogram (EEG), event-related potentials (ERP) and cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) were recorded in two groups of adolescents (aged 13-16years), living either at sea-level or high altitude (?3700m). RESULTS: Neuropsychological testing revealed no deficits in the high altitude group, despite significantly reduced blood oxygen saturation. In agreement, ERPs elicited by oddball target detection and choice reaction time tasks were not different between groups. In contrast, resting state EEG showed reductions in delta and beta frequency amplitudes in adolescents living at high altitude. The EEG attenuations were correlated with lower CBFV, and the EEG group differences diminished during task performance. CONCLUSIONS: No indication was found for negative sequelae of chronic hypoxia in adolescents born and living at an altitude of ?3700m, rather evidence for successful neurophysiological adaptation was found under such conditions. SIGNIFICANCE: Dynamic regulation of metabolic demand is one adaptive mechanism that preserves cognitive development at high altitude.

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Published date: September 2011
Keywords: altitude, eeg, erp, adolescence, cognition


Local EPrints ID: 177941
PURE UUID: 3f46a84d-4f25-4c60-9430-30cbb0f0072a
ORCID for John W. Holloway: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 22 Mar 2011 15:35
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:05

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Author: Cassandra Richardson
Author: Alexandra M. Hogan
Author: Romola S. Bucks
Author: Ana Baya
Author: Javier Virues-Ortega
Author: Lyle J. Palmer
Author: Rebecca J. Webster
Author: Fenella J. Kirkham
Author: Torsten Baldeweg

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