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Effects of Dehydration or Cold Exposure and Restricted Fluid Intake upon Cognitive Performance
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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The present study examined the effects of initial hydration state upon cognitive performance during the cold exposure. Five tests Coding, Number Comparison, Computer Interaction, Pattern Comparison, and Grammatical Reasoning were used to assess the cognitive performance of 36 male Marine volunteers. All subjects practiced the tests extensively the 3 days before the cols exposure. Two groups of 18 subjects each were studied, 21 days apart, for 10 consecutive days. The second group of subjects was dehydrated by 2.5 of their body weight by severe fluid restriction and exercise-induced sweating the day before the cold exposure the first group was normally-hydrated. All subjects spent 5 days in an environmental chamber where temperatures during the day were -23 to -25 C with 4 kmh winds and night conditions ranged from -4 to -10 C without wind. In the cold the subjects wore protective Artic Uniforms afterwards, recovery was evaluated for 27 hours. All cognitive assessment was interspersed with extensive physical work. The results indicate that dehydration or cold temperature with limited intake of fluids impairs cognitive performance. Originator supplied key words include Cognitive performance, Dehydration, Cold, Physical work, Coding, Number Comparison, Computer interaction, Pattern comparison, and Grammatical.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE