The relationship between arterial oxygen saturation and cognitive function

Goodin, H., (2015) The relationship between arterial oxygen saturation and cognitive function. Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the relationship between declining arterial oxygen saturation and cognitive function, created through alterations in the inspired oxygen fraction (FiO₂).
Method: Eight, healthy, physically fit, male participants aged 19 ±2 years completed this study. Following a familiarisation session in normoxic conditions, participants completed cognitive tests in an environmental chamber in two experimental conditions; Sea Level condition, and an altitude condition of FiO₂ 11.9%, equivalent to 4500m. Relative humidity and temperature were kept constant across conditions, at 50% humidity and 21°C. Participants completed a 30 minute ‘acclimatisation’ period, after which they completed the cognitive tests. Exposures lasted one hour in total. The cognitive tests used included; the Finger Tapping Test; Corsi Block Task; and the Eriksen Flanker Task. Measurements of arterial oxygen saturation (% SpO₂) and heart rate (b·min-1) were recorded during the Corsi Block Task.
Results: The decrease in FiO₂ in the altitude condition elicited a decline in SpO₂ (p<.0005). With this, there was a strong trend for an increase in heart rate (p= .052). Large amounts of individual variation were observed, particularly in arterial oxygen saturation at FiO₂ 11.9%. Few significant differences were evident in the cognitive tests, though some results were beginning to trend. Correlational analysis demonstrated that there is no relationship between SpO₂ and cognitive function. Furthermore, hypoxia did not affect cognitive functioning.
Conclusion: Arterial oxygen saturation declines upon acute exposure to hypoxia, and heart rate increases. There is a large individual variation in responses to hypoxia. However at rest, with one hour of exposure, at a FiO₂ 11.9%, cognitive function can be maintained. In addition, a relationship between SpO₂ and cognitive function is not evident from these results.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Adventure Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arterial Oxygen Saturation Cognitive Function
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Departments > Adventure Education
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Ann Jones
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2015 11:21
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 11:21
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/1528

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