Post-flight confusion: does flying affect the brain? BJPsych Intern, Feb, 2020

NPsych Pick of the Month: a paper from our colleague Dr Rands ?

Post-flight confusion: does flying affect the brain?

Gianetta Rands, Thomas McCabe and Chris Imray. BJPsych International, Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 February 2020


This paper describes a condition termed post-flight confusion using anecdotal and clinical observations. It reviews research from the fields of aviation and altitude medicine and how this could apply to some physiological changes that happen during commercial flights. The collection of symptoms observed is similar to those of delirium. More research is needed to validate these observations, to identify the risks of flying for older people and to consider not only how to minimise these risks but whether this situation contributes to our knowledge about the aetiologies of delirium and dementias.