Altitude Extremes Research


Many people sojourn to high altitude for recreation and work. For example, 100 000 trekkers visit Nepal alone each year, and many more visit the mountainous regions of Europe, Africa, the Americas, Australasia and Asia for outdoor activities. Drs Macdonald, Moore and Oliver have completed a numerous investigations examining the effect altitude on human health and performance. Dr Moore’s research has sought to understand the physiology of high-altitude dwelling populations in the Nepalese Himalaya, Peruvian Andes and Ethiopian Highlands. Additionally, Drs Macdonald and Oliver research in the Himalayas and Alps has shown the practical benefits of fitness and diet to those travelling to high-altitude.

Selected Publications (click on titles below to read the study summary):

Rossetti GMK, Macdonald JH, Wylie L, Little S, Newton V, Wood B, Hawkins K, Beddoe R, Davies H, Oliver SJ (2017) Dietary nitrate supplementation increases acute mountain sickness symptom severity and sense of effort during submaximal exercise in hypoxia. Journal of Applied Physiology, 123 (4), 983-992.

Rossetti GMK, Macdonald JH….. Oliver SJ. MEDEX2015: Greater sea-level fitness is associated with lower sense of effort during Himalayan trekking without worse Acute Mountain Sickness. High Altitude Medicine & Biology 2017 Apr 10. doi: 10.1089/ham.2016.0088.

Tymko MM, Tremblay JC, Steinback CD, Moore JP, Hansen AB, Patrician A, Howe CA, Hoiland RL, Green DJ, Ainslie PN. UBC-Nepal Expedition: acute alterations in sympathetic nervous activity do not influence brachial artery endothelial function at sea level and high altitude. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2017 Nov 1;123(5):1386-1396. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00583.2017. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Lawley JS, Alperin N, Bagci A, Lee SH, Mullins PG, Oliver SJ, and Macdonald JH, (2014). Normobaric hypoxia and symptoms of acute mountain sickness: Elevated brain volume and intracranial hypertension. Annals of Neurology, 2014; 75(6): 890

Oliver SJ, Macdonald JH, Harper Smith AD, Lawley JS, Gallagher CA, Di Felice U, and Walsh NP (2013). High altitude impairs in vivo immunity in humans. High Altitude Medicine and Biology, 14, 144-149.

Lawley JL, Oliver SJ, Mullins PG, and Macdonald JH (2013). Investigation of whole-brain white matter identifies altered water mobility in the pathogenesis of high-altitude headache. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 33, 1286-1294.

Oliver SJ, sanders SJ, Williams CJ, Smith ZA, Lloyd-Davies E, Roberts R, Arthur C, Hardy L, Macdonald JH (2012). Physiological and psychological illness symptoms at high altitude and their relationship with acute mountain sickness: a prospective cohort study. Journal of Travel Medicine, 19(4), 210-219

Oliver SJ, Golja P, and Macdonald JH (2012). Carbohydrate supplementation and exercise performance at high altitude: a randomized controlled trial. High Altitude Medicine and Biology, 13, 22-31.

Macdonald JH, Oliver SJ, Hillyer K, Sanders S, Smith Z, Williams C, et al. (2009). Body composition at high altitude: a randomized placebo-controlled trial of dietary carbohydrate supplementation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90, 1193-1202.

Moore JP, Claydon VE, Norcliffe LJ, Rivera-Ch M , Leon-Velarde F, Appenzeller O, and Hainsworth R (2006). Carotid baroreflex regulation of vascular resistance in high altitude Andean natives with and without chronic mountain sickness. Experimental Physiology, 91, 907-903.