Publications & Posters

Blood biomarkers indicate mild neuroaxonal injury and increased amyloid β production after transient hypoxia during breath-hold diving.


Gren, Magnus; Shahim, Pashtun; Lautner, Ronald; Wilson, David; Andreasson, Ulf; Norgren, Niklas; Blennow, Kaj; Zetterberg, Henrik

Brain Injury

DOI: 10.1080


Objective: To determine whether transient hypoxia during breath-hold diving causes neuronal damage or dysfunction or alters amyloid metabolism as measured by certain blood biomarkers.

Design: Sixteen divers competing in the national Swedish championship in breath-hold diving and five age-matched healthy control subjects were included. Blood samples were collected at baseline and over a course of 3 days where the divers competed in static apnea (STA), dynamic apnea without fins (DYN1) and dynamic apnea with fins (DYN2).

Main outcomes: Biomarkers reflecting brain injury and amyloid metabolism were analysed in serum (S-100β, NFL) and plasma (T-tau, Aβ42) using immunochemical methods.

Results: Compared to divers’ baseline, Aβ42 increased after the first event of static apnea (p = 0.0006). T-tau increased (p = 0.001) in STA vs baseline and decreased after one of the dynamic events, DYN2 (p = 0.03). Further, T-tau correlated with the length of the apneic time during STA (ρ = 0.7226, p = 0.004) and during DYN1 (ρ = 0.66, p = 0.01).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that transient hypoxia may acutely increase the levels of Aβ42 and T-tau in plasma of healthy adults, further supporting that general hypoxia may cause mild neuronal dysfunction or damage and stimulate Aβ production.