BMRES Conference – November 2006
This meeting on altitude research took place at the Birmingham Medical Institute on Friday 24th November 2006. The main objective of the meeting was to encourage young altitude researchers to present their work in an informal environment to a group of experts working within the UK.
During the morning, three workshops took place concurrently, covering altitude research design, practical aspects of undertaking field research, and using AMS scoring systems. Group 2 discussed how to overcome problems associated with data storage, the use of laptops at altitude, and maintaining an adequate power supply whilst high in the mountains. Group 3 debated the Lake Louise questionnaire for assessment and scoring of acute mountain sickness, its use in clinical management and in research. It was felt that further refinements are needed to improve both specificity and sensitivity but a large collection of symptom data is needed. The group also discussed prophylaxis with a divided opinion on the use of dexamethasone.
The afternoon led way into a series of short presentations on recent work from different groups with work as varied as the benefits of intermittent hypoxia in the training of elite cyclists.the role of nitric oxide in the development of AMS. prediction of success in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Evidence for right to left shunting on exercise at altitude and arterial stiffness and peripheral vascular responses on acute exposure to high altitude. Mark Wilson from the Xtreme Everest team gave details of projects from the recent trip to Cho Oyu, and their plans for the upcoming trip to Everest next spring.
The highlight of the day was the invited lecture given by Professor Peter Bartsch from the University of Heidelberg on “Research in the Capanna Regina Margherita since 1893”. Professor Bartsch highlighted the history of the hut and the research that had been undertaken there, such as studies with pulmonary artery catheterization and broncho-alveolar lavage in early high altitude pulmonary edema.
The meeting provided an extremely useful opportunity for young researchers and the various research groups around the UK to share research interests and experience.