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High summits ‘could harm brain’

According to an article published on the BBC’s website dated 19/10/08, mountaineers may suffer brain damage. Is this actually any surprise? How many times have you trudged up a mountain in the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland or elsewhere in the pouring rain with zero visibility, your hands and feet are cold, the wind is biting, your legs are aching, despite owning quality waterproofs you are still wet and maybe you’ve got blisters too? And you’re doing this for fun. And you claim that you don’t have brain damage? Come on!

But seriously…
We’re not talking about the little mountains in the UK. According to Dr Mike Grocott of University College London

Most climbers are aware that if you are going over 8,000 metres, there may be a small amount of damage to the brain associated with that

Mountaineers have had MRI scans before and after ascents up some of the world’s tallest mountains and the research has shown that there has been changes in the brain tissue. This has been attributed to the lower amounts of oxygen at higher altitudes. Fortunately the mountaineers did not suffer any significant neuropsychological changes.

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