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The Effects of Hyperoxia on Cognitive Performance in Younger and Older Adults: 6943:15 PM – 3:30 PM

Neidre, Daria; Cook, Jill; Anton, Alazne; Tanaka, Hirofumi; Spirduso, Waneen

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p S28
Presidential Closing Remarks 12:05 PM – 12:15 PM: Immediately Following President's Lectures ROOM: Ballroom 2/3 and Ballroom 1: B-49 Free Communication/Slide – Exercise and Cognition: WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2006 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM ROOM: 301

The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX


Hyperoxia and its effects on cognitive performance have been controversial. A series of studies from the University of Northumbria demonstrated that hyperoxia facilitated cognitive performance in younger adults. However, other investigators have not confirmed these findings, nor have they extended these findings to older adults.

PURPOSE: To replicate these studies in both younger and older adults.

METHODS: Thirty-one young (18–28) and twelve older (60–70) healthy, nonsmoking adults were studied. Subjects in each age group were randomly assigned to three gas administration conditions: oxygen-oxygen, oxygen-air, and air-oxygen. Measurements of cognitive performance included baseline word recall in the air-air condition, testing word recall in the randomly-assigned group, and 24-hour word recall. Oxygen saturation levels and heart rate were measured every 30 seconds. An 8-minute protocol similar to the Northumbria studies was followed.

RESULTS: No significant differences in word recall from baseline to testing sessions occurred among groups, in both young and older adults. Twenty-four-hour recall was not different between groups in both young and older adults. Oxygen saturation was significantly different (p<0.05) at various time points after the administration of oxygen. Heart rate responses were not significantly different between groups.

CONCLUSION: Oxygen did not facilitate cognitive performance, specifically word recall, in these younger and older adults.

© 2006 American College of Sports Medicine