Publications
Une sélection de publications scientifiques portant sur la médecine et la physiologie de la plongée.
2021 mai 13
Impaired Attentional Processing During Parabolic Flight
Friedl-Werner A, Machado M-L, Balestra C, Liegard Y, Philoxene B, Brauns K, Stahn AC, Hitier M, Besnard S.

Previous studies suggest that altered gravity levels during parabolic flight maneuvers affect spatial updating. Little is known about the impact of the experimental setting and psychological stressors associated with parabolic flight experiments on attentional processes. To address this gap, we investigated the level of alertness, selective and sustained attention in 1 and 0 g using a Go/No-Go Continuous Performance Task. We also identified several parameters associated with the experimental set-up of a parabolic flight that could be expected to affect attentional processing.

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2021 oct. 29
Increased Risk of Decompression Sickness When Diving With a Right-to-Left Shunt: Results of a Prospective Single-Blinded Observational Study (The “Carotid Doppler” Study)
Germonpré Peter, Lafère Pierre, Portier William, Germonpré Faye-Lisa, Marroni Alessandro, Balestra Costantino

Introduction: Divers with a patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) have an increased risk for decompression sickness (DCS) when diving with compressed breathing gas. The relative risk increase, however, is difficult to establish as the PFO status of divers is usually only determined after a DCS occurrence.

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2021 janv. 1
Increasing Oxygen Partial Pressures Induce a Distinct Transcriptional Response in Human PBMC: A Pilot Study on the “Normobaric Oxygen Paradox”
Fratantonio D, Virgili F, Zucchi A, Lambrechts K, Latronico T, Lafère P, Germonpré P, Balestra C.

The term “normobaric oxygen paradox” (NOP), describes the response to the return to normoxia after a hyperoxic event, sensed by tissues as oxygen shortage, and resulting in up-regulation of the Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) transcription factor activity. The molecular characteristics of this response have not been yet fully characterized. Herein, we report the activation time trend of oxygen-sensitive transcription factors in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from healthy subjects after one hour of exposure to mild (MH), high (HH) and very high (VHH) hyperoxia, corresponding to 30%, 100%, 140% O2, respectively.

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2018 nov. 1
Inert gas narcosis in scuba diving, different gases different reactions
Rocco M, Pelaia P, Di Benedetto P, Conte G, Maggi L, Fiorelli S, Mercieri M, Balestra C, De Blasi RA & Investigators RP

Purpose: Underwater divers face several potential neurological hazards when breathing compressed gas mixtures including nitrogen narcosis which can impact diver’s safety. Various human studies have clearly demonstrated brain impairment due to nitrogen narcosis in divers at 4 ATA using critical flicker fusion frequency (CFFF) as a cortical performance indicator. However, recently some authors have proposed a probable adaptive phenomenon during repetitive exposure to high nitrogen pressure in rats, where they found a reversal effect on dopamine release. Methods: Sixty experienced divers breathing Air, Trimix or Heliox, were studied during an open water dive to a depth of 6 ATA with a square profile testing CFFF measurement before (T0), during the dive upon arriving at the bottom (6 ATA) (T1), 20 min of bottom time (T2), and at 5 m (1.5 ATA) (T3).

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1998 janv. 1
Intrathoracic pressure changes after Valsalva strain and other maneuvers: implications for divers with patent foramen ovale
Balestra C., Germonpré P., Marroni A.

Scuba divers with patent foramen ovale (PFO) may be at risk for paradoxical nitrogen gas emboli when performing maneuvers that cause a rebound blood loading to the right atrium. We measured the rise and fall in intrathoracic pressure (ITP) during various maneuvers in 15 divers. The tests were standard isometric exercises (control), forceful coughing, knee bend (with and without respiration blocked), and Valsalva maneuver (maximal, gradually increased to reach control ITP, and as performed by divers to equalize middle ear pressure). All the maneuvers, as well as the downward slope of ITP at the release phase, were related to the control value.

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