A team of Mayo Clinic researchers will land in Argentina on Friday to study an elite athlete's physical reaction to running the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere — twice.
Altitude expert Bruce Johnson and his research team will monitor Diane Van Deren "in an effort to more fully understand the limits of human adaptation" as she ascends Mount Aconcagua, which rises to a height of 6,962 meters, or 22,841 feet…
Part of Van Deren's attraction as a research subject, ironically, is her personal medical history of severe epilepsy, Johnson said. She had surgery to stop seizures. Now nearly 50 years old, she "seems to be getting stronger with time," Johnson said.
Post-Bulletin, by Jeff Hansel, 1/21/10