Acute mountain sickness in disability and adaptive sports: Preliminary data

Brad E. Dicianno, Eric D. Aguila, Rory A. Cooper, Paul F. Pasquina, Mary J. Clark, Diane M. Collins, Shirley G. Fitzgerald, Todd A. Wichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a frequent complication for military personnel, veterans, athletes, and travelers at high altitudes. Symptoms may occur in individuals with less cerebrospinal fluid volume and less ability to accommodate increased brain volume. No studies on AMS exist in individuals with neurological impairments. We studied 64 subjects, including active and sedentary controls and those with tetraplegia, paraplegia, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury at the 2007 National Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado. Subjects completed three Lake Louise Score surveys to quantify symptoms. We found a higher than expected occurrence of AMS overall (51.6%) but no differences among groups, and few participants sought treatment. Fatigue and weakness were common symptoms. High subject activity levels may explain these findings. More research is warranted on larger sample sizes and on preventative medications and treatments for AMS, especially since many military personnel with neurological impairments are returning to full active service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-488
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Altitude sickness
  • Brain injuries
  • Headache
  • Military
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Sports
  • Veterans
  • Visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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