Brain Lesions More Common in High-Altitude Pilots, Study Finds

Results could also apply to deep-sea divers, mountain climbers

MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) — Pilots of U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance planes may be at risk of developing brain lesions, a new study suggests.

America’s involvement in two wars has increased the workload of U.S. airmen, and cases of decompression sickness — a potential hazard of high-altitude flying — have tripled over the past two decades, the researchers say. But this study suggests that U-2 pilots in general are more vulnerable to bruises in the brain, a sign that decompression damages the brain even in the absence of illness. [Read more…]