There is no evidence that scuba diving has any negative long-term effect on the brain according to a study reported in the Dec. 12 issue of the scientific journal Neurology.Divers and non-divers were tested for memory, basic intelligence, alertness, verbal capabilities, mood changes and motor skills. Researchers also looked at MRI scans of the brains of both groups and found no difference.The study compared 24 German navy divers and 24 navy employees who do not dive.Previous studies have shown that recreational divers have a higher incidence of brain injury than the general population, but most of these studies were performed on divers with a history of decompression illness, said Dr. Guenther Deuschl, a neurologist and the study's author, from Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany. The good news is that our study looked at divers with an average 17 years diving experience and we found no evidence of brain injury, said Deuschl. Our research shows that long-term diving is safe as long as people adhere to the conditions of safe diving.
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