Attention High Altitude Residents (Temporary and Permanent)!

October 7th, 2007 by xformed

Linking, learning and OOPS! Information coming in!

Found at the Scientific American Mind website, the adventuring into the upper reaches of the atmosphere has a cumulative effect on the thing that makes you think.

From “Into thin air: Altitude’s toll on the brain”:

Douglas Fields
National Institutes of Mental Health
Washington, D.C.

Three attributes of a good mountaineer are high pain threshold, bad memory, and … I forget the third. – R. Douglas Fields

Climbing Mount Everest is not so difficult; the hard part is getting down intact. According to a recent brain imaging study, almost no one does. Of thirteen climbers in the study who attempted Mount Everest, none returned without brain damage. The study also scanned the brains of climbers who attempted less extreme summits. For those of us who love to climb, the results are less than elevating. It seems that almost no one, whether the weekend warrior chaperoned to the summit or the seasoned mountaineer, will return from the high peaks with a brain in the same condition it was in beforehand.

Some of us will be able, based on a propensity to “get high” in aircraft or climbing, will be able to use this as a defense in our more advanced years to cover our mental errors. But then we know the other people who “get high” also will have that excuse…

Watch Lex’s posts for signs of too many rides when he took his O2 mask off against the directives of NATOPS.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2007 at 12:01 am and is filed under Biology, Public Service, Science, Skydiving. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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