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apnea kills brain cells?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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krkleci

New Member
Jan 18, 2002
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Hi everyone!
Can anybody give me some infromation on whether apnea therefore freediving kills brain cells?
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
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Brain damage

Brain cell death begins after 'anoxic depolarization', which begins several minutes AFTER BLACKOUT occurs. So, if you routinely black out for more than a few minutes, you will be damaging your brain cells. If not, you should be fine!

PS--I don't recommend blacking out at all.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

fbbomao

New Member
Aug 27, 2002
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This is a bad question...
A freediver has not braincells, on the contrary he wouldn't hold his breath!
:D
 

OKLA-ALASKA

New Member
Sep 10, 2002
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apnea killing brain cells?

I think we all need to sit back and realize what sport we are training for or doing. Ofcourse blacking out for a while is going to disrupt many things besides just brain cells. If you are blacking out and losing brain cells (if thats the case) You shouldn't even be out there. The best in the world have never blacked out or if they have it hasn't been for a long time. This is a sport.. Not a death wish.:D
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
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Re: apnea killing brain cells?

Originally posted by OKLA-ALASKA
. Ofcourse blacking out for a while is going to disrupt many things besides just brain cell


You shouldn't even be out there. The best in the world have never blacked out or if they have it hasn't been for a long time.

I'd like to see any evidence that there is truth to your statement, please. I'll look at it if it's there.

You mean people like Pipin, Fattah, Streeter, Nietsch, Fattah, Hutton, Pellizari, etc, etc?
They've all experienced black out.


Respectfully,
Erik Y.
 
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OKLA-ALASKA

New Member
Sep 10, 2002
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back to Erik

I totally understand what you are saying with the other divers. I am sure that some of them have blacked out but I do know of some who havent. We all screw up at one point or another because of guts. For some reason, the majority of us think we have enough guts to push past our lungs and what our body tells us. We need not to listen to that but just enjoy the sport and go with it.

Danny
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,803
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Re: apnea killing brain cells?

Danny,

I think it also will come down to the type of Freediving your doing. Recreational orientated people are not going to be pushing themselves very hard (or maybe they might) so are much less likely to suffer from SWB.

However athletes how are practicing Performance Freediving and aiming to set records or PB's are likely to be pushing themselves a lot harder and hence more likely to suffer SWB.
Originally posted by OKLA-ALASKA
The best in the world have never blacked out or if they have it hasn't been for a long time. This is a sport.. Not a death wish.:D
This is something I find very hard to believe. I have heard of almost all major Freediving athletes blacking out at some point in their career.

However don't get me wrong - i'm not saying blacking out is a good thing at all - i've seen a couple of pretty horrible blackouts - but it is something that is a danger in the sport of Freediving.
 

Ricardo (SAFER)

New Member
Jun 28, 2002
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Freediving blackouts

I believe that blackouts come with the turf. Of course, training, knowledge, physical conditioning, etc. all help to minimize the risk, but it is always there.
At one point or another the nature of this sport and the incredible depths (Tanya's 160 blows my mind!) and I could mention some other that are going beyond amazing depths, Eric is training for 100 in Constant Ballast....
It is something that has and will continue to happen to great athletes. I once had a polemic discussion about the tendency of not revealing this "incidental" happenings in our sport as if they would diminish or reduce in any way the marvelous performances.
As Tanya rightly says in her interview, athletes are obliged to divulge the why, when and how, so others can learn!
Fortunately I see a trend in the veracity and transparency of the new generation of athletes, even some continue to bury their heads in the sand....to no avail, as it will eventually be known and this won't help the athlete's credibility or even his or her respect for their admirors.
A lot less of "testosterone" help to keep those neurones alive!

Ricardo (SAFER)
 
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Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
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Hey Danny, I agree with you....it's in our nature to go forward and excel (as a species), and boundaries will always get crossed I imagine.
Ricardo, I am as blown away by Tanya's last record: outstanding!
Hopefully others will follow suit with disclosure about incidents.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

JasonWelbourne

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
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My brother, who is a fan of extreme SCUBA diving, has this idea in his head that freediving = brain damage because he has read or heard somewhere that Asian freedivers who do so as a matter of career (pearl divers or whatever) have been found to suffer from brain damage in relation to longterm freediving. I have repeatedly asked him for a reference as to where he heard this, and have tried explaining to him that if that were so it would be due to longterm blackout problems or neurological DCS, which he would be just as prone to get himself in the right circumstances. He isn't buying it, and his notion keeps resurfacing inspite of the fact that he himself has made numerous freedives to atleast 20m. It really bugs the heck out of me, because he is crapping on my sport, so I wanted to dig up some references to non-blackout related freediving brain damage.
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
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JasonWelbourne said:
I wanted to dig up some references to non-blackout related freediving brain damage.

I don't think there is any. However, there's evidence that breathing compressed gas, even without getting bent, can be detrimental.
Cest la vie,
Erik Y.
 

fpernett

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2001
832
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Jason
I think your brother refers to this article: Neurological manifestations in Japanese Ama divers. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;32(1):11-20

They think that this brain infarcts are due to decompression sickness (DCS). In fact, there is another study from Dr. Kohshi were the finding of MRI studies were the same in SCUBA and Breath-hold divers with DCS.

So, breath-hold diving doesn't kill your brain cells, getting bent (SCUBA or Freediving) can do.
 

naiad

Apnea Carp
Supporter
Oct 11, 2003
2,897
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Re: Brain damage

efattah said:
Brain cell death begins after 'anoxic depolarization', which begins several minutes AFTER BLACKOUT occurs. So, if you routinely black out for more than a few minutes, you will be damaging your brain cells. If not, you should be fine!
Then I should be fine, as even I don't do more than a few minutes! ;)

My spelling has deteriorated somewhat - when I was a kid the concept of not being able to spell a word didn't exist, because if I had ever seen a word written somewhere I could spell it. Recently I have found myself trying to work out how to spell words which shouldn't be difficult. This really had me worried, as I was beginning to blame it on blackouts!

I was relieved to work out that it was related to doing less writing, and therefore having to spell less. :duh It goes back to normal when I have done a lot of written work. I am grateful to Deeperblue for encouraging me to write, and therefore keeping my under-used brain cells alive. ;)

With me, it's definitely 'Use it or lose it'!

However, my typing has improved - normally it's a matter of hitting random letters and using the backspace key. Despite improving my static times, the rate of backspaces per minute has decreased by a lot, so I think it's not too bad.

Seriously, I haven't noticed any negative effects.

I'll keep you posted :hmm

Lucia
 

samdive

Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
3,221
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I think you only have to read the posts on this forum to see that that is a load of b*****ks... quite an articulate bunch are we not?

or are you all using spell check?

: )

seriously - someone from Australia was doing tests on this at the Hawaii comp in 2002 with reaction time tests and IQ type tests - I am not sure if the research ever got published but by the end of the comp she did not have any clear evidence that blackout caused any damage beyond the initial shock of it happening to you which slowed you down for a few minutes afterwards - one hour later everyone was the same B/O or no B/O.
 

Dobs

Well-Known Member
Nov 17, 2004
365
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I don't think that killing brain cells is necessarily a bad thing at all. See the attached picture for reference :duh
 
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naiad

Apnea Carp
Supporter
Oct 11, 2003
2,897
449
138
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JasonWelbourne said:
My brother, who is a fan of extreme SCUBA diving, has this idea in his head that freediving = brain damage because he has read or heard somewhere that Asian freedivers who do so as a matter of career (pearl divers or whatever) have been found to suffer from brain damage in relation to longterm freediving. I have repeatedly asked him for a reference as to where he heard this, and have tried explaining to him that if that were so it would be due to longterm blackout problems or neurological DCS, which he would be just as prone to get himself in the right circumstances.
I would be surprised if people who freedive as a career suffer repeated blackouts. Neurological DCS would be more likely. Although they may do much more freediving than anyone else, they probably don't reach the limit very often, as their aim is not to go longer or deeper than anyone else. Therefore if anyone has a problem, it would be competitive freedivers who frequently push themselves to blackout/LMC. I haven't seen any evidence that competitive freediving is harmful.

Lucia
 

monofin_diva

Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2005
174
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great post.. very informative.

dobs:
"I don't think that killing brain cells is necessarily a bad thing at all. See the attached picture for reference"

cheers! :friday
 

rfondren

New Member
Aug 10, 2005
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I'm the aforementioned malinformed brother, and have learned a lot from this board.I know I' m prejudiced, but j welbourne's pretty smart.
 
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FjordDiver

New Member
Apr 4, 2014
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Old thread but relevant topic, not fully discussed.
William Truebridge lost his sense of taste permanently after blacking out diving around 200 feet. I am not an expert but there arent many things that could cause that during a dive but one of them is brain damage.
Im not saying that is proof that apnea causes brain damage, but blacking out very well may.

David Blaine slept in low oxygen for months to raise his red blood cell count (it worked very well!) in preparation for breaking the static breath holding record. He said he woke up every morning feeling really out of it, 'brain fried'. I very much doubt it was brain damage, but his brain adapting its activity in response to low oxygen levels, same as a mountaineer.

The bends, and SWB seem quite possible brainkillers, outside of those, brain damage should be pretty apearent with those who have a long history of diving. Personally, I feel smarter already.
 
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