This week on Grad Chat:
Jeremy Walsh: PhD student in Kinesiology & Health Studies (Exercise Physiology) under the supervision of Dr Michael Tschakovsky
Examination of how exercise affects cognitive function at high altitude
Overview: At sea level, an environment with ample oxygen, performing a 20-minute session of moderate exercise leads to improved brain function (cognitive function). Low oxygen environments like high altitude (hypoxia) impair cognitive function and can lead to poor decision-making and a host of other issues. However, performing a single bout of exercise in a simulated hypoxic environment can restore and in some cases improve cognitive function. What remained to be explored was a) whether cognitive function was impaired over a 12-day period on a high altitude trek, and b) whether a single session of exercise performed at high altitude has an impact on cognitive function. A trip to Mt.Everest base camp proved to be very helpful.