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I've always refrained from using it in HAPE unless there was also a component of cerebral edema, so I'll probably wait for the controlled study," he said.
Many research teams are actively searching for genetic risk factors for HAPE and for the genes that protect the Sherpas and allow them to function so well in high altitudes--thus far without success.
Dr Bailey believes that the lack of oxygen to the brain causes free radicals - unstable molecules in the body - to build up in the lung, which then cause damage to the organ, leading to the symptoms of HAPE.
Our volunteers would come up to the hut for a few days at a time so we could perform tests on them - we selected people who were both HAPE susceptible and those who were resistant.