Does non-clinical decompression stress lead to brain damage in abalone divers?

Med J Aust. 1986 Apr 14;144(8):399-401. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1986.tb128409.x.


Abalone divers are subject to considerable decompression stresses and could be at risk of progressive cognitive impairment. A sample of abalone divers was compared with a sample of fishermen, by means of a battery of neuropsychological tests. No evidence of cognitive impairment was found in the divers, in spite of evidence of their exposure to decompression stress. The implications for other professional divers and for recreational underwater divers who follow standard decompression protocols are reassuring.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology*
  • Decompression Sickness / complications*
  • Decompression Sickness / etiology
  • Diving / adverse effects*
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Wechsler Scales
  • Word Association Tests