Navigation Links
Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
Date:8/21/2007

Experts at the University are studying an illness known as HAPE (high altitude pulmonary oedema), which causes fluid to build up in the lungs can and can occur from as low as 2,500 metres, affecting people of all age groups and fitness levels.

Little is known about the condition and there is no way of predicting who is likely to be affected although studies have suggested a genetic link. It is thought that around one in 50 people who travel to high altitudes suffer from HAPE.

The database, which is being run in collaboration with researchers from America, Austria, Bolivia, and Britain, aims to encourage registration from previous sufferers of HAPE. It will facilitate research that could potentially identify people susceptible to the condition. Genetic studies using the database may also provide greater understanding of what happens in HAPE sufferers' lungs.

Dr Kenneth Baillie, co-ordinator of the database and a researcher at the University of Edinburgh, said: There is no way of predicting who is likely to suffer from HAPE, as it can affect anyone even if you are young, healthy and active. Because it occurs from 2,500 metres, it can affect skiers as well as mountaineers. Treatment options are very limited and sufferers need to descend from high altitude and see a doctor straight away.

A major problem is that sufferers may not know that they have HAPE until it is too late. Once the symptoms start to appear which may include breathlessness at rest and blueness of the lips sufferers may not realise the severity of the illness and the urgency of reducing altitude and seeking medical treatment. It may also be that sufferers are not in a position to go down a mountain in time, whether this is due to how ill they are, weather conditions or how high up they are. This all reinforces how important it is to find out who may be susceptible in advance so that they can either try to prevent the onset of the illness or not put themselves in a potentially life-threatening situation.

Use of the database will be open to researchers worldwide, although details of individual members will be not be given out without their consent.

HAPE is the most common form of altitude sickness and can kill within hours if untreated. As the illness progresses, it can cause drowsiness and lack of coordination, leading to a coma and death. As cases are not registered, nobody knows exactly how many people have died as a result of the condition.

The main treatment is descent, but this is often impossible as a sufferer may need to be carried for miles on a stretcher, only to descend a few hundred feet. Other treatments include breathing oxygen and two drugs, dexamethasone and nifepidine, which may not be available when somebody becomes ill.

Blood vessels inside the lungs constrict in response to low oxygen to such an extent that fluid is forced from the capillaries (narrow tubes through which blood cells pass), leading to flooding of the lungs air sacs.

Risk factors include rapid ascent, physical exertion and a previous history of the condition. By understanding who is most at risk, potential sufferers could take precautions such as climbing much more slowly or taking drugs to prevent the onset of the condition.


'/>"/>
Contact: Tara Womersley
tara.womersley@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-9836
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
3. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
4. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
6. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
7. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
8. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
9. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
10. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
11. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 23, 2019 , ... ... the ImageXpress® Pico Automated Cell Imaging System including Digital Confocal 2D on-the-fly ... Digital Confocal option allows scientists to decrease exposure time and improve the ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 24, 2019 , ... Catalent, ... for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced it ... forthcoming American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) PharmSci 360 at the Henry ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... NEW ORLEANS (PRWEB) , ... October 21, 2019 , ... ... cancer with the launch of two, new navigated instruments. These devices are designed to ... lung cancer. These new tip-tracked tools will be launched at the annual American College ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/29/2019)... ... October 29, 2019 , ... ... to announce its Silver sponsorship and cold chain validation workshop at the Biomanufacturing ... Pines in San Diego, California. , The Biomanufacturing World Summit brings ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) , ... October 22, 2019 ... ... software provider, today announced integration of the Alertus Mass Notification System into its ... critical infrastructure to the Enplug platform, making it possible for users to leverage ...
(Date:10/10/2019)... ... 09, 2019 , ... The International Society for Pharmaceutical ... a newly-confirmed keynote speaker for the 2019 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo ... Abernethy, a hematologist/oncologist and palliative medicine physician, is an internationally recognized clinical data ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... , ... October 07, 2019 , ... ... low level laser therapy technology (“3LT®”), today announces that the U.S. Food and ... EVRL low level laser for the temporary relief of chronic neck and shoulder ...
Breaking Biology Technology: