Long Flights Are Harmful for the Memory


People who travel around the world may feel tired and suffer from forgetfulness. This condition sometimes lasts for months after returning home. The reason lies in the disruption of biorhythms, which cause temporary changes in the brain. The similar harm is done to one’s health when working in a night shift, or under an irregular schedule, Professor Lance Kriegsfeld from the University of California said.


Female hamsters were chosen to verify the theory. Twice a week for four weeks, the researchers subjected female Syrian hamsters to six-hour time shifts – the equivalent of a New York-to-Paris airplane flight. During the jet lag period, the hamsters had trouble learning simple tasks. Moreover, the problem persisted for a month after the hamsters returned to a regular day-night schedule, writes NEWSru.com.

According to the expert, at this point a decline in neural activity in the hippocampus – part of the brain responsible for memory was discovered. Incidentally, a previously conducted survey showed that chronic transmeridian flights increase deficits in memory and learning along with atrophy in the brain’s temporal lobe. Now it has been proved that such rhythm disturbance may lead to a slowdown of the formation of new nerve tissues in the hippocampus. Now when you know how harmful long flights can be, try to avoid them.

Source of the image: Flickr