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Title: Hypoxia adaptation and exercise performance at altitude
Author: Riley, Heather L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 0054
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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Hypoxia is defined as a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues, and is a common problem in critically ill patients. It is not currently possible to predict how well an individual will adapt to hypoxic conditions, and patients presenting with hypoxia are often treated with supplemental oxygen. However, this blanket-treatment approach is not suitable in all cases and a more personalised approach is required. My thesis project builds on information acquired during the Caudwell Xtreme Everest (CXE 2007) expedition, where over 200 volunteers trekked to Everest Base Camp. CXE uses studies on healthy volunteers exposed to extreme environments to aid in the understanding of the complicated issues concerned with critical illness, and aims to use these findings to improve the treatment of critically ill patients, without putting them directly at risk. My thesis project has combined physiological information acquired during CXE with biochemical information measured in plasma samples taken during CXE. Performance at altitude has been used as a proxy for hypoxia adaptation, with individuals who show a small loss of performance at altitude compared to London assumed to be adapting better compared to individuals who show a larger loss. Analysis of the physiological and biochemical data for a core group of 24 individuals has culminated in the application of multiple linear regression to produce a number of models capable of predicting the key changes in physiological response as a function of a number of biochemical metabolites. These models have been used to identify a set of biochemical metabolites to measure in a further 190 individuals, to allow validation and training of the models on a larger sample size. These models can then be adapted for use in a critical illness environment, to allow the prediction of how well an individual will adapt to hypoxic conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Great Britain) (BBSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology ; RC Internal medicine