Natalia Dmitrucha (2), Jozef Wojnar (4), Oleksandr Bakunovskij (1) ... signaling system etc., with a ?matching to sample? exercises on a computer screen. .... Increase of oxidize-restorative processes activity (1,8 times); .... ?P.171-172 (Eng lish).

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Eugenij Moiseenko (1,3), Vasilij Stezhka (2), Victoria Lastovchenko (2), Tetyana Kovalenko (1), Oleg Perevoznikov (3), Tetyana Bilko (2),
Natalia Dmitrucha (2), Jozef Wojnar (4), Oleksandr Bakunovskij (1)

Human psychophysiology in extremal environment

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Adaptacja organizmu czBowieka w warunkach ekstremalnych


Human adaptation to Antarctic environment, prophylactics of the desinchronostic disturbances and psycho emotional unsteadiness, immune responses, pathological manifestation of the Aardio-vascular system as well as the problem of pollution influences on human organisms remain unresolved so far and is a subject of medical-biological investigations [Moiseenko, 2002.].
Medico-physiological studies were conducted prior to, during and after an Antarctic expedition. Profound immune and physiological examinations were performed at the selection of personnel to work in Antarctica and after their return to Ukraine. Biorhythm peculiarities of psycho-physiological function state and blood morphology were studied during the over-winter year under Antarctic conditions of isolation and photoperiodicity. It was shown that after winter in Antarctica in general functional state of the organism tend to return to average levels when isolation is ended. Nevertheless certain immune response rates remain unchanged for some time. Now long-term health implications of staying in conditions of Antarctic exposure are studied. Though radionuclide Cz137 occurred in all examined people, it was not found in their organisms after a year in Antarctica.


The winter-spending crew of 6 technicians and 8 scientists at the age of 22-55 was selected on the base of clinical trial and laboratory examination.
The test package “Candidate” was used to measure short-term memory, latent period of visual motoric reactions, functional rate of nervous processes in the first and second signaling system etc., with a “matching to sample” exercises on a computer screen. Immune indicators and morphology of peripheral blood were obtained using routine tests [Paster, 1989] as well those pertaining to authors [Karakaszjan, Stiezka et. al., 1993, Kundiev, Stezhka et al,, 1997]. Radionuclide content in human organisms was determined with a human radiation counter tube [Research Center for Radiation Medicine of AMS Ukraine]. Health screening of winterers was performed in the pre-deployment period, during the year in Antarctica and in the period after return to Ukraine. Obtained data obtained were statistically processed.


It is suggested that the Antarctic, because of unfavorable influence on human organism, is a hazardous environment to live and work. Efficiency of members of an expedition and reliability of their work in is a great part determined by the individual functional state [Illin, Moiseyenko et al., 2001]. Having arrived to the Antarctic from the moderate latitudes of Europe, the members of the staff find themselves in conditions of the light-dark rhythm inversion, unaccustomed to a long day (in summer) and night (in winter), twenty-four hour duty [Zhang, 1885]. It is known that changes in the light rhythm cause the phase shift in the sleep-awake rhythm. Adaptation to this shift in a way of reorganization of the different physiological systems is not synchronous, causing impairment of the circadian rhythm as well as desynchronism [Moiseenko, 2002.]. The decline of efficiency, impaired functional state, and misconduction of professional duties characterize the latter. Regarding the role of the central nervous system in the adaptation mechanisms, psycho-physiological methods were chosen to estimate the functional state and mental efficiency of members of the Antarctic expeditions. An investigation of the psycho-physiological status of the staff of six expeditions was carried out [Rivolier, 1994]. The methodologies of the circadian rhythm examination at the different phases of Antarctic residence and computer codes to meet the requirements of expressivity have been worked out. It should be noted that, opposite to physiological constants, the circadian rhythm of psycho-physiological functions is poorly known. Nevertheless it can serve as a marker of the functional state during the expedition and reflect adaptation changes in an individual, so it can be used as an adaptation criterion.
Psycho-physiological tests of the winterers during the Antarctic year allowed determining the dynamics of individual subjective estimation of health, mood, concentration and memory. The winter-over crew members reported subjective problems with health at the beginning of the second part of the Antarctic residence, feeling more depressed and irritable during Antarctic winter and at the beginning of spring, keeping efficiency and exercise performance all over the year. The rate of sensory motoric reactions and mental capacity indicators of the winterers presented some depression at the beginning of the Antarctic year and in winter, especially after prolonged shift. In post-departure period psycho-physiologic status indicators changed non-uniformly returning gradually to pre-wintering values (Table). In most cases activation of the central sections of the functional system, which is responsible for information processing, showed a decreasing tendency. In isolated cases the CNS activation level grows, which indicates the mode shift towards the fast reactions, the larger number of fast reactions in comparison with slow ones. However, one can conclude that it is assisted by an increase of biomodal re-allocation of latent period, which should be considered as an unfavorable sign for assessment of the CNS functional state. Other psycho-physiological indicators demonstrate changes that are typical for an increase or decrease of short-term memory. Such tendencies are observed in functional mobility of the nervous processes in the first and second signaling systems. We consider that non-uniform changes of the parameters are determined by individual differences in human adaptation in Antarctica, which will allow proper selection of personnel to serve there and work out the methods of the human functional state correction.

Table. Changes of psycho-physiological status of winterers after the year in Antarctic

Parameters (Indexes)Before AntarcticAfter AntarcticResultsShort-term memory7,17,9In 55.0% - improvingActivation coefficient44.0%33.0%In total lowering. In 22.0% - activation of highplastic brain struture.Functional mobility on an 5motion signals49.0 signal/min54,1 signal/minIn 22.0% - increasingFunctional mobility on colour signals2,3
(2 type)2,2
(2 type)Minor changes.

Blood morphology and immunograms

Analysis of the data collected suggested a presence of physiological IAR (individual adaptive response)-QAR (quiet active response) and RAR(rising active response) in 31.8 percent of the study group, whereas QAR was found in 18.2 percent and RAR in 13.6 percent of the challengers. Non-physiological IAR in the form of TAR (training active response) was revealed in 27.3 percent, OAR (overactive response) – in 13.6 percent, stress state – in 27.3 percent of the study cohort. Thus at the selection stage persons with non-physiological IAR (68.2(9.9 and 31.8(9.9) percent (PSS (stress status) >OAR while that of the personnel selected – RAR>TAR>OAR>SS. Physiological IAR was in (45.4(15.0) percent of the people, non-physiological – in (54.6(15.0) percent, P>0.05. It should be noted that 7 people were selected on the base of the clinic trial and psycho-physiological testing from the cohort with non-physiological IAR. Assessment of IAR was performed twice a day – at 9 a.m. Kyiv time and at 9 a.m. Akademik Vernadsky station time. At 9 a.m. Kyiv time non-physiological IAR was observed in 54.6 percent of the selected cohort, including TAR – in 27.3 %, OAR – in 18.2 %, SS - in 9.1 %. Physiological IAR in the form of RAR was revealed in 45.4 percent of the cohort. At 9 a.m. in Akademik Vernadsky (it was night in Kyiv) physiological IAR was observed in 55.5 percent of the same people (QAR – in 22.2%, RAR – in 33.3%), non-physiological IAR – in 44.4%. IAR relation in absolute indices was RAR>TAR>OAR>SS at 9 a.m. (start of work) in Kyiv, and that was RAR>QAR+TAR=OAR at 9 a.m. in the Antarctic station. It means, that there were insignificant differences observed in individual adaptation in this period. Initial stage of the immunity examination of the selected personnel on a base of blood morphology revealed negligible decrease of erythrocytes count, increase of the relative value of bacillus-nuclear neutrophiles and monocytes. Regarding blood leukocytes ratio in the examined people, cell reactions of non-specific and specific organism immune systems were balanced, with essential predominance of the macrophage-cell reaction and affected section of immune response.
The balance between hypersensitivity reactions of slow and urgent types was normal. All the subjects had essentially disturbed immune status:
Decrease of the active phagocytes number in peripheral blood by factor 4.3 and of their absorbing capacity;
Increase of oxidize-restorative processes activity (1,8 times);
Decrease of the circulating immune complexes (CIC) concentration (2,2 – 4,4 times) in both pools of blood serum. Thus at the initial phase all the subjects had exogenous stimulation of immune system followed by functional immuno-suppression responsible for human non-specific immunity.
IAR assessment of the cohort was performed in the first two weeks in Akademik Vernadsky station. During the first week 18.2 percent of the winterers had physiological and 27.3 percent non-physiological IAR typical for 9 a.m. in Kyiv. 27.3 percent had better adaptation (transition from non-physiological to physiologcal IAR) and in 27.3 percent adaptation worsened (transition from physiologcal to non-physiological IAR). In general at the time of work start in the station the subjects had more physiological state of homoeostaz – QAR>RAR>OAR, whereas at the Kyiv time its suppression was OAR>QAR>TAR=RAR. During the second week in the station 45.4 percent of the winter personnel restored their physiological and 27.3 percent kept their non-physiological IAR, which were typical for the Kyiv time. Improving of IAR was observed in 27.3 percent, worsening of IAR did not occur. During two weeks residence in Antarctica 22.2 percent of the winter crew members had physiological IAR typical for the station time zone, 11.1 percent showed their improving and 33.3 percent – their worsening. 33.3 percent also had non-physiological IAR. Thus after two weeks in the Antarctic conditions the subjects examined at the time of work start in Kyiv had mainly physiological IAR – QAR>RAR>TAR>OAR while at the time of work start in the station they had non-physiological – OAR>RAR>QAR>SS. But some part of the over-winter crew had not adapted to the new social-ecological environment.
After the winter-over year and return to Ukraine no essential changes in peripheral blood morphology and cell defense reactions of the subjects comparing were found with those in initial phase. Immunity dynamics was characterized by partial functional suppression of the non-specific immunity. Thus the number of active phagocytes in blood of the study cohort increased 2.1 times (correspondingly (14.90(0.99)% and (31.90(0.36)%, P0.05) and the activity of oxidative-restorative processes (correspondingly, (7.60(1.00)% and (7.13(1.51)%, P>0.05) were restored. The functional-metabolic reserves of neutrophiles (8.50(1.15)% was reduced not only in comparison to the initial phase (22.00(2.40)% but also about 1.8 times in comparison with the donors level (15.40(0.80)%, PTAR=SS>QAR=RAR were predominant in the study cohort. Thus simultaneously with significant immunograms rates normalization, deterioration of individual adaptation of humans in comparison with the initial phase was observed. The same studies of IAR of the expedition members were conducted monthly over the period in Antarctica, which will permit further study of the influence of return from the station to Kyiv on individual adaptation and effective pre-deployment procedures to improve individual adaptation to stay in the conditions of the Akademik Vernadsky Antarctic station.

Radionuclide content in humans organisms

It is known, that there is a stable concentration of Cz137 radionuclide in Ukrainian Antarctic staff (as in the whole population of Ukraine). After their stay in Antarctic, Cz137 radionuclide was not detected in their organisms.


Prolonged stay in Antarctic conditions results in the complicated physiologic changes of the central nervous system, immune response, cell population ratio in the peripheral blood, with individual differences.
The main physiologic activities of the winterers were quickly restored, some immunity indexes having positive dynamics (raise of the phagocytes index) when they returned from Antarctica.
After winterers return some negative immunity changes showed up, such as decrease of functional metabolic reserves of neutrophiles and IgM concentration in blood serum (by 32.4%) in comparison with those prior to the expedition. That is an evidence of weakening of immune cell response under the influence of biological factors.
A stay in conditions of winter in Antarctic led to nearly complete evacuation of radionuclide Cz137 from the organism, which could influence on dynamics of human functional indexes.
Winterers IRA monitoring on the base of leukogram analysis showed unusual homeostasis variability at the beginning and the end of an Antarctic expedition in comparison with that prior to wintering.
Study on some human functional systems (CNS, immunity) have provided an opportunity to outline advanced research on the human biological response to combined Antarctic factors as well as formation of long-term adaptation in the sterile conditions, when cleaning from radionuclide occurs.


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Autorzy zbadali zmiany psycho-fizjologiczne i immunologiczne oraz indywidualn spoBeczn i biologiczn adaptacj 22 pracowników dBugo przebywajcych w UkraiDskiej Stacji Antarktycznej Akademik Vernadski. Badania medyczne byBy prowadzone równie| w Polskiej Stacji Antarktycznej im. Arctowskiego. Wyniki badaD potwierdziBy wystpowanie istotnych zmian biologicznych w organizmach ludzi pracujcych w tak skrajnych warunkach.


Assessment of psycho-physiologic status and immune system as well as individual social and biologic adaptation of 22 members of the staff to long-term work in the new social-ecological environment of the Ukrainian Antarctic station Akademik Vernadsky was carried out. Medical investigations were also performed at the Antarctic Arctowski Station (Poland). The results showed that organisms working in such extreme conditions present multiple changes in psycho-physiology, central nervous system and immunology.

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