Brain damage after high altitude climbing

Tue, 02 Jan 2018, by Wayne Radinsky

Brain damage after high altitude climbing found by MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). "We recruited 35 climbers consecutively (12 were professional and 23 were amateur) in 4 expeditions without supplementary oxygen: 12 professionals and one amateur went up to Mt. Everest (8848 m), 8 amateurs to Mt. Aconcagua (6959 m), 7 amateurs to Mont Blanc (4810 m), and 7 amateurs to Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895 m). The mean age was 33.8 years (range: 22-46). All of them underwent general medical examination, standard blood tests, and MRI of the brain after the expeditions. MRI also was carried out in a control group of 20 healthy subjects. Single-voxel MR spectroscopy was carried out in 14 amateur subjects after the expeditions and in 10 healthy controls. As outcome measures, we evaluated changes in the hematocrit value, presence of cerebral lesions on MRI, as well as atrophy and dilatation of Virchow-Robin spaces, and differences in the metabolite ratios obtained from brain MRS in comparison with controls."