THE EFFECT OF THE ALTITUDE ZONE ON COGNITIVE FUNCTION FOR MALE PILOTS IN INDOCTRINATION AND AEROPHYSIOLOGY TRAINING IN 2019
Objective: A pilot on duty at altitude can be exposed to hypoxia, both mild and severe. The incidence of hypoxia on a flight can be fatal, especially if hypoxia is experienced by a pilot on duty. One manifestation of hypoxia is decreased cognitive function. A pilot is required to carry out multitasking operations using cognitive functions, especially in an emergency. Therefore, decreased cognitive function due to hypoxia in a pilot can cause accidents in flight. This study aims to determine changes in cognitive function with hypoxia exposure at several altitude zones.
Methods: This study used an experimental one-group pretest-posttest design. The subjects were 31 military pilots who participated in Indoctrination and Aerophysiology Training. Subjects filled 6 Cognitive Impairment Test (6 CIT) questionnaires at ground level, efficient physiological zone (10,000 ft), and physiological deficient zone (25,000 ft) in a hypobaric chamber.
Results: There was a change of 6 CIT score at 10.000 ft compared to ground level (Friedman post-hoc Wilcoxon, P = 0.001). There was also a change of 6 CIT score at 25,000 ft compared to ground level (Friedman post-hoc Wilcoxon, P<0.001).
Conclusion: There was a change in cognitive function in the efficient physiological zone and physiological deficient zone, compared to ground level.
2. Reinhart RO. Basic flight physiology. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education; 2007.
3. Gradwell D, Rainford DJ. Ernsting’s aviation and space medicine. 5th ed. London: CRC Press; 2006. p. 926.
4. Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board. Aircraft accident report Helios Airways Flight HCY522 Boeing 737-31S at Grammatiko, Hellas on 14 Agust 2005. Hellenic Republic Ministry of Transport and Communication; 2006.
5. National Transportation Safety Board. Learjet Model 35, N47BA, near Aberdeen, South Dakota, October 25, 1999. In: Washington DC. National Transportation Safety Board; 2000.
6. Barman SM, Barrett KE, Boitano S, Brooks H. Ganong’s review of medical physiology. 25th ed. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015.
7. Neuhaus C, Hinkelbein J. Cognitive responses to hypobaric hypoxia: Implications for aviation training. Psychol Res Behav Manag 2014;7:297–302.
8. Davis JR, Stepanek J, Johnson R, Fogarty JA. Fundamentals of aerospace medicine. 4th ed. Vol. 1; 2008.
9. Curdt Christiansen C. Principles and practice of aviation medicine. Vol. 1. World Scientific; 2009.
10. Pilmanis AA, Balldin UI, Fischer JR. Cognition effects of low-grade hypoxia. Aerosp Med Hum Perform 2016;87:596–603.
11. Hill R. What sample size is “enough” in internet survey research? IPCT J 1996;6:1-10.
12. Brooke P, Bullock R. Validation of a 6 item cognitive impairment test with a view to primary care usage. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1999;14:936–40.
13. Rowland LP, Merritt HH. Merritt’s neurology. Vol. 1. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2005.
14. Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, Fisher SK. Basic neurochemistry: molecular, cellular, and medical aspects. 6th ed. Philadelphia; 1999.
15. Mukandala G, Tynan R, Lanigan S, O’Connor JJ. The effects of hypoxia and inflammation on synaptic signaling in the CNS. Brain Sci 2016;6:6.
16. Hall J, Guyton A. Textbook of medical physiology. 11th ed. Pennsylvania: Elsevier; 2006.
17. Virues Ortega J, Buela Casal G, Garrido E, Alcazar B. Neuropsychological functioning associated with high-altitude exposure. Neuropsychol Rev 2004;14:197–224.
18. Michiels C. Physiological and pathological responses to hypoxia. Am J Pathol 2004;164:1875–82.
19. Satyanegara. Ilmu bedah syaraf satyanegara. 4th ed. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama; 2013.
20. Andrew D. Woodrow. Handbook of aerospace and operational physiology. Washington DC: USAF School of Aerospace Medicine Aerospace Medicine Education; 2011.
21. Asmaro D, Mayall J, Ferguson S. Cognition at altitude: Impairment in executive and memory processes under hypoxic conditions. Aviat Space Environ Med 2013;84:1159–65.
22. John A Wise, Hopkin D, Garland DJ. Handbook of aviation human factors (Human Factors in Transportation). 2nd ed. Florida: CRC Press; 2010.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.