APEX 4 Bolivia
The objectives were to collect physiological and genetic data from young healthy volunteers at low, moderate, and high altitude in order to gain insight into the process of acclimatisation. The expedition was based in an abandoned ski lodge on the Chalkaltya Mountain near La Paz. Tests carried out on expedition members included chest ultrasonography to assess for the presence of subclinical pulmonary oedema and changes in heart function, ultrasound scans of the eye to detect swelling of the optic nerve as an indicator of cerebral oedema, blood samples to identify changes in gene expression, as well as blood coagulation and clotting function. The evaluation of this data will take several months, but will provide information directly applicable to those spending time at high altitude, and to help develop patient-specific approaches to care and treatment.