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Mountain Sickness / Altitude Sickness News

Don't Let High Altitude Ruin Your Holiday Trip

Posted 26 Nov 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26, 2014 – When you're planning your holiday get-away, don't forget to factor high altitude into your vacation sports – such as skiing or hiking, a sports medicine specialist cautions. Outdoor explorers may fail to take altitude into account when visiting high-altitude recreation areas, which puts them at risk of developing fatigue and other symptoms related to being high above sea level, according to Dr. Melissa Tabor, an assistant professor of sports medicine and osteopathic principles and practice at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "No matter how great of an athlete you are, if you are coming from sea level or lower altitudes to a higher altitude area, you need to prepare," Tabor said in a news release provided by the American Osteopathic Association. Tabor recently gave a presentation on preparing for ... Read more

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Brain Lesions More Common in High-Altitude Pilots, Study Finds

Posted 19 Aug 2013 by

MONDAY, Aug. 19 – Pilots of U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance planes may be at risk of developing brain lesions, a new study suggests. America's involvement in two wars has increased the workload of U.S. airmen, and cases of decompression sickness – a potential hazard of high-altitude flying – have tripled over the past two decades, the researchers say. But this study suggests that U-2 pilots in general are more vulnerable to bruises in the brain, a sign that decompression damages the brain even in the absence of illness. The findings, published in the Aug. 20 issue of the journal Neurology, indicate that decompression sends tiny bubbles known as emboli into the brain where they don't necessarily make people ill but may still cause harm, said study lead author Dr. Stephen McGuire, a neurologist with the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio, Texas. "If the bruise ... Read more

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Scientists ID Genes Behind Chronic Mountain Sickness

Posted 15 Aug 2013 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 – People who live at high altitudes and suffer from chronic mountain sickness may have their genes to thank, a new study finds. About 140 million people worldwide live permanently at high altitudes, where oxygen levels are low. Many of them have adapted to their environment, but others have chronic mountain sickness, characterized by heart attacks, strokes and lung problems at an early age. The new findings could point the way toward treating the condition, researchers say. Chronic mountain sickness develops over time. It differs from acute mountain sickness, or altitude sickness, which usually strikes people within hours of reaching high altitude, often causing nausea, vomiting or headaches. In this study, the researchers sequenced the entire genomes of 20 people living in the Andes, 10 with chronic mountain sickness and 10 without. The investigators found greater ... Read more

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Climbers With Altitude Sickness Show Signs of Brain Bleeds Years Later

Posted 29 Nov 2012 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 – Mountain climbers who develop a potentially fatal type of high-altitude sickness can have traces of bleeding in the brain long after they recover, according to a new German study. The study was expected to be presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, in Chicago. High-altitude cerebral edema is a condition that occurs when capillaries leak fluid and cause the brain to swell. It's "a life-threatening condition," said Dr. Michael Knauth, of the neuroradiology department at the University Medical Center Goettingen, in a society news release. The condition typically affects mountain climbers, travelers, skiers and hikers above 7,000 feet. The condition causes many symptoms, including headache, loss of coordination and decreasing levels of consciousness. "It usually happens in a hostile environment where neither help nor ... Read more

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Ibuprofen May Ward Off Altitude Sickness

Posted 20 Mar 2012 by

TUESDAY, March 20 – The anti-inflammatory and painkiller ibuprofen seems to reduce the risk of altitude sickness, according to a new study. Headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and poor appetite are among the symptoms of altitude sickness, which affects more than 25 percent of Americans who travel to high elevations each year to ski, hike or camp. If unrecognized or untreated, altitude sickness can lead to high-altitude cerebral edema, a potentially fatal swelling of the brain. The Stanford University study, which included 58 men and 28 women, was conducted in California's White Mountains. The participants spent the first night at 4,100 feet altitude. The following morning, they were given either 600 milligrams of ibuprofen or a placebo before hiking up the mountain to a staging area at 11,700 feet. After receiving a second dose at 2 p.m., the participants continued their ... Read more

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