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High altitude and sepsis?

Pathology at high altitude occurs in part because of gene-environment mismatch. We introduced that idea in the first, second, and third blog entries on the topic of high altitude diseases. So far we focused on other clinical contexts in which hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-1) activation is adaptive during common disorders […]

High altitude edema

In Ecuador, one member in our party developed significant swelling of her hands and feet. By itself, edema of the hands is not a problem, and it does not require treatment or descent to lower altitudes. But we have mentioned a few other instances in which edema is a big […]

High altitude headache

More people are living and traveling to high altitude than ever before. Pictured here is my colleague Darryl Macias atop Mount Rainier where we held a high altitude conference a few years back. He claims he felt A-ok, and he looks like it – but others, including myself, had mild […]

Evolutionary oxygen tradeoffs

During normal functioning, adequate delivery of oxygen and blood flow is prioritized to body organs. Oxidation of glucose is the dominant means by which mitochondria in our cells generate ATP, the main currency of energy in the body. Because of the importance of oxygen and blood flow, human physiology comes […]

Oxygen therapy revisited

Coffee Brown and I recorded a podcast last year about the surprising result of a large systematic review of oxygen therapy – the  IOTA trial.  The IOTA trial showed a lack of benefit, often in the direction of harm, from one of our most common medical interventions – supplemental oxygen. Giving […]

The Naked Emperor – Podcast #36

Does the emperor have no clothes? In a recent manuscript published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, I challenge the concept of dysregulation that is at the core definition of sepsis. Listen to the EvolutionMedicine podcast #36 for a full discussion of the provocative idea that sepsis is a regulated […]

Brain, behavior, and evolution – updated

For week three of the UNM Evolutionary Medicine class we will discuss behavioral changes that happen with infection and sickness. One of my favorite topics is sickness behavior. Many different species alter their activity level, feeding behavior, and engage in novel behaviors that do not occur in health. Even caterpillars […]

The Hygiene (and Microbiome) Hypothesis

Update: a research study performed by Abou-Jaoude and colleagues presented on November 16th at the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology examines the link between maternal “mouth cleaning” of infant pacifiers and allergy. They found that “parental pacifier sucking was linked with suppressed IgE levels” in infants. Lower IgE […]