Mild hypoxia is associated with quantitative EEG changes, but not with dissociative symptoms

H W Smith, C Kruger, C le Roux, M J van der Linde, H T Groeneveld, P Bartel, F Pretorius


Backround and aims. Hypoxia at altitude may lead to mental changes resembling dissociative symptoms. This study examined whether hypoxia precipitates dissociative states in normal subjects and whether quantitative electro- encephalographic (EEG) changes occur.

Methods. Dissociative symptoms and EEG changes were examined in a hypobaric chamber.

Results. No dissociation was noted. EEG slowing accompanied hypoxia, replicating previous findings.

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Submitted: 03 March 2008
Published: 01 June 2006

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)