- Ibuprofen reduces altitude sickness US study says.
Xavier Ortega (Spain)
- Medicine: Ibuprofen can reduce acute altitude sickness suffered by a quarter of the people who travel to mountains to climb or ski, according to a clinical study published Tuesday.
- Grant Lipman, the Stanford University researcher who led the study, described altitude sickness as being like “a really nasty hangover”. The symptoms include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and poor appetite.
- In the worst cases, altitude sickness can cause cerebral edema, an often fatal brain swelling. Ibuprofen, an active ingredient in over-the-counter painkillers like Advil, reduced altitude sickness symptoms by 26% in a study of 58 men and 28 women, Lipman and his team reported. Other altitude sickness drugs are available but can have undesirable side-effects, according to researchers.
- Trekking through the forests of Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania, Xavier could hear the small band of chimpanzees moving ahead through the trees. ‘After a couple of hours,’ says Xavier, ‘I walked into a glade and there they all were.’ He sat down, trying not to make any movement, so the group didn’t feel threatened. Though they were used to researchers following them, they were not familiar with him. But they accepted his presence, and for the rest of the day he was able to observe their interactions. ‘It was fascinating,’ says Xavier, ‘to see so many facial expressions and gestures, and hear them ‘speak’.’ He was particularly drawn to a mother with a small infant and took many pictures of her, his favorite being this most tender of moments
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