View Full Version : Jet Lag Shrinks the Brain - Shock!

Rallye Driver
21st May 2001, 21:58
This news item was on the BBC web site today @


"Frequent flyers who repeatedly suffer jetlag could be permanently affecting their brain power, claim researchers.

The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, examined the brains of aircrew, but suggests that any worker who swaps from night to day shifts over a short period may be at risk.

Dr Kwangwook Cho of the University of Bristol conducted a small study of 20 women, aged between 22 and 28, who had worked for at least five years for an airline, and regularly flew across at least seven time zones.

Half of the women, however, had on average least a fortnight to recover from their jetlag - the rest had only a week.

Women were chosen for the test because, in general, they suffer far worse jetlag than their male counterparts.

Dr Cho not only scanned their brains to look at their physical characteristics, but also measured their performance in memory and understanding tests.

He found that the aircrew given the shorter period to "turn around" after a jet-lagging flight had an area of the brain called the temporal lobe which was noticeably smaller than the others.

Dr Cho said: "I found there was no deficit of language, but certain short-term objective memory and very simple abstract cognition was quite bad."

It is not known whether the temporal lobe will "recover" given time away from such sleep-disrupting working patterns. "

Oh well, at least it only shrinks the brain, I was getting worried for a minute! Anecdotal evidence requested if anyone can remember that is...

Send Clowns
22nd May 2001, 03:33
Well, most pilots are far too big-headed anyway. Can only do us good.

22nd May 2001, 04:05
Well, it's certainly affected me, because I can't remember what it was that made me join this god-forsaken industry in the first place.
Well, it's certainly affected me, because I can't remember...err hang on a minute, didn't someone just say that??
In conclusion there doesn't appear to be...appear to be...err Yes the new Manics album is their best for years.

22nd May 2001, 09:27
This study is being given a lot of publicity considering its nature. The study is only of women, ("stewardesses" no less. Very Newsworthy!) is restricted to a small "accidental sample" and is little more than a preliminary investigation to see if the subject is worth a full study. Whoever is behind the publicity is very cleverly manipulating the fund allocation process to get hold of a research grant. My own study on the effects of sustained circadean rhythm disturbances on the long term health of workers is far better founded and presented, but less well publicised. I suppose these people will get funding whereas I will spend another year trying to get a grant for my PhD. :)

Well, at least now I know how to increase my chances eh? Attractive female shift workers! Mriya225's quite a cracker, I wonder if she still works shifts?

Through difficulties to the cinema

22nd May 2001, 10:47
Not much good surveying "stewardesses" - they have notoriously small brains to start with, or are they made that way be repeated compaction with a blunt instrument through the mouth.

22nd May 2001, 16:06
Jet Blast Shrinks the Brain - Shock!

Now that would be truly horrible...

22nd May 2001, 18:14
What was that? They got bend over and f****d their brains out? What goes up must come down!

Gr Dick Kok (official Dutch name)