Neurology and altitude illness

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Problems at altitude are most often thought of in trained athletes summiting extremes of elevation. A more common group that needs consideration is the average person with obstructive sleep apnea who must travel to high altitudes for business or pleasure. While the altitudes involved are not likely to be as extreme as for those athletes climbing peaks like Mt. Everest, the increases in elevation may present difficulties for patients, especially if overnight stay is expected. The pathophysiology of altitude-related CNS, respiratory, and sleep disorders is discussed along with treatment options.

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