, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 166-172

Electrophysiological characterization of the functional state of the brain in mental disturbances in workers involved in the clean-up following the chernobyl atomic energy station accident

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Studies were carried out on 150 workers with mental disturbances, who had been involved in the clean-up of the Chernobyl atomic energy station accident. Visual and computer analyses of EEG traces from 43 workers were compared with traces from 17 healthy subjects and the comparison revealed that the most common features in workers were disorganization of the α-rhythm and strengthening of β-1-acitivity in the sensorimotor cortex. In neurosis-like syndromes (13 patients), there was a significant increase in the power of the α-rhythm in the anterior parts of the cortex; in psycho-organic states, power was significantly reduced (especially in the left hemisphere), contributing to the greater proportion of flat EEG traces in patients with psycho-organic syndromes as compared with other groups of patients. Most patients among the clean-up workers had increased assimilation of flashing light rhythms and weakening of non-specific and skin galvanic responses to a light stimulus. It was concluded that systemic CNS changes occurred in patients from the clean-up worker groups, especially in those with psycho-organic syndrome.