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Correspondence on: Neurocognitive impairment in night and shift workers: a meta-analysis of observational studies by Vlasak et al
  1. Philip Tucker
  1. School of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip Tucker, School of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK; P.T.Tucker{at}

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When considering the impact of shiftwork on cognitive performance, there is an important distinction to be drawn between acute temporary effects and chronic impairments. Acute effects are typically observed in individuals who are, for example, working a block of night shifts and are experiencing fatigue due to the transient influence of inadequate sleep and circadian misalignment.1 Chronic effects (if they exist) are observable when individuals with prolonged exposure to shiftwork show deficits in cognitive capacity, irrespective of the type of shift they have worked in recent days and may even be observable in former shiftworkers. The distinction is important because it is likely that different mechanisms …

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  • Contributors Conceived and drafted by PT.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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