HIGH-ALTITUDE PILOTS SUBJECT TO BRAIN LESIONS

High-Altitude Pilots Subject to Brain Lesions

Decompression sickness, or “the bends,” is typically seen in scuba divers, but high-altitude pilots, who regularly fly at 64,000 feet and higher in planes that maintain a lower cabin pressure than typical commercial flights, are also at risk. Even those that escape decompression sickness are not unaffected by the repeated and prolonged exposure to a low-pressure environment. Researchers have found that high-altitude pilots have a higher incidence of brain lesions calledwhite matter hyperintensities than other military personnel. The pilots show no discernible cognitive impairments, but further study is needed to ascertain whether these lesions are harmful. More… Discuss

 

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