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Motion sickness increases the risk of accidental hypothermia
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Environmental Physiology.
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Environmental Physiology.
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Environmental Physiology.
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Environmental Physiology.
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2006 (English)In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN 1439-6319, E-ISSN 1439-6327, Vol. 98, no 1, 48-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Motion sickness (MS) has been found to increase body-core cooling during immersion in 28 degrees C degrees C water, an effect ascribed to attenuation of the cold- induced peripheral vasoconstriction (Mekjavic et al. in J Physiol 535(2):619-623, 2001). The present study tested the hypothesis that a more profound cold stimulus would override the MS effect on peripheral vasoconstriction and hence on the core cooling rate. Eleven healthy subjects underwent two separate head-out immersions in 15 degrees C water. In the control trial (CN), subjects were immersed after baseline measurements. In the MS-trial, subjects were rendered motion sick prior to immersion, by using a rotating chair in combination with a regimen of standardized head movements. During immersion in the MS-trial, subjects were exposed to an optokinetic stimulus (rotating drum). At 5-min intervals subjects rated their temperature perception, thermal comfort and MS discomfort. During immersion mean skin temperature, rectal temperature, the difference in temperature between the non-immersed right forearm and 3rd finger of the right hand (Delta T (ff)), oxygen uptake and heart rate were recorded. In the MS-trial, rectal temperature decreased substantially faster (33%, P < 0.01). Also, the Delta T (ff) response, an index of peripheral vasomotor tone, as well as the oxygen uptake, indicative of the shivering response, were significantly attenuated (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) by MS. Thus, MS may predispose individuals to hypothermia by enhancing heat loss and attenuating heat production. This might have significant implications for survival in maritime accidents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 98, no 1, 48-55 p.
Keyword [en]
body temperature regulation, vasodilation, vasoconstriction, shivering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26352DOI: 10.1007/s00421-006-0217-6ISI: 000240120300005OAI: diva2:371981
QC 20101123Available from: 2010-11-23 Created: 2010-11-23 Last updated: 2010-11-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of Motion Sickness on Human Thermoregulatory Mechanisms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Motion Sickness on Human Thermoregulatory Mechanisms
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The presented studies were performed to investigate the effects of motion sickness (MS) on human autonomic and behavioural thermoregulatory mechanisms during cold stress and in a thermoneutral environment. The roles of histaminergic and cholinergic neuron systems in autonomic thermoregulation and MS-dependent dysfunction of autonomic thermoregulation were studied using a histamine-receptor blocker, dimenhydrinate (DMH), and a muscarine-receptor blocker, scopolamine (Scop). In addition, the effects of these substances on MS-induced nausea and perceptual thermoregulatory responses were studied. MS was found to lower core temperature, during cold stress by attenuation of cold-induced vasoconstriction and decreased shivering thermogenesis, and in a thermoneutral environment by inducing sweating and vasodilatation. The increased core cooling during cold stress was counteracted by DMH but not by Scop. In a thermoneutral environment, the temperature was perceived as uncomfortably warm during and after the MS provocation despite decreases in both core and skin temperature. No such effect was seen during cold-water immersion. Both pharmacologic substances had per se different effects on autonomic thermoregulatory responses during cold stress. Scop decreased heat preservation, but did not affect core cooling, while DMH reduced the rate of core cooling through increased shivering thermogenesis. Both DMH and Scop per se decreased thermal discomfort during cold-water immersion.Findings support the notion of modulating roles of histamine (H) and acetylcholine (Ach) in autonomic thermoregulation and during MS. MS activates cholinergic and histaminergic pathways, thereby increasing the levels of H and Ach in several neuro-anatomical structures. As a secondary effect, MS also elevates blood levels of several neuropeptides, which in turn would influence central and/or peripheral thermoregulatory responses.In conclusion, MS may predispose to hypothermia, by impairment of autonomic thermoregulation in both cold and thermoneutral environments and by modulation of behavioural thermoregulatory input signals. This might have significant implications for survival in maritime accidents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. v, 41 p.
Trita-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2010:6
Motion Sickness, autonomic thermoregulation, behavioural thermoregulation, hypothermia, acetylcholine, histamine
National Category
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26058 (URN)978-91-7415-795-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-10, sal 3:221, Alfred Nobels alle 10, Huddinge, 13:30 (English)

Medicine doktorsexamen

Available from: 2010-11-23 Created: 2010-11-11 Last updated: 2013-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Nobel, GerardEiken, OlaTribukait, ArneKölegård, Roger
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