Longevity camp. Or not. NY surgeon Ken Stalter working on team-mate Chris Drummond's frostbitten toes in Everest's ABC in 2004.
Image by Andre Bredenkemp
Study: high altitude protects against injury and disease

Posted: Apr 11, 2012 07:30 pm EDT
(Newswire) What doesn't kill you strengthens you: Medical research shows that "positive stress" such as exercise and low-oxygen environments can precondition cells and induce changes that make them more resistant to injury and disease; and the effect lasts for months.

Mice exposed to low oxygen concentrations, similar to those found at high altitudes, over a two-week period showed their brain was protected from stroke damage for at least 8 weeks afterwards.

The effect has been shown in various diseases, latest glaucoma, a condition linked to increases in the pressure of the fluid that fills the eye. Preconditioned mice lost significantly fewer retinal ganglion cell axons, from 30% to 3%.

Potential usefulness of high altitude and exercise is studied to help treat a variety of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.
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