Acute mountain sickness may be caused by abnormal regulation of brain and spinal fluid volume in response to low oxygen at high altitudes. Very little research has studied acute mountain sickness in people with neurological impairments. We studied the symptoms of 168 subjects with various disabilities (including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis) and subjects with no impairments at the National Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado, from 2007 to 2009. We found higher than expected acute mountain sickness overall (43%) and much higher Lake Louise Scores among the subjects with disabilities. Fatigue and weakness were the most common symptoms. More research is needed to find medications that can prevent and treat acute mountain sickness, particularly in individuals with disability.
Volume 50 Number 2, 2013
Pages 253 — 262
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:29 AM