Effect of Acetazolamide on Cognition in Patients With Respiratory Disease at Altitude

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Primary Outcome Measures:
Secondary Outcome Measures:

  • visuomotor learning performance, altitude effect [ Time Frame: Day 1 and 2 at 760 m and at 3200m ]

    Difference in directional error between 760 m and 3200 m altitude

  • arterial oxygen saturation [ Time Frame: Day 1 and 2 at 760 m and at 3200m ]

    Difference in altitude-induced change of arterial oxygen saturation between acetazolamide and placebo group, measured by pulse oxymetry

This is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind parallel trial evaluating the effect of acetazolamide (375 mg per day) vs. placebo on visuomotor learning performance at altitude (Tuja Ashu, 3200 m). Randomization to acetazolamide or placebo will be carried out after baseline measurements in Bishkek (760 m).

Visuomotor learning performance will be tested by Motor Task Manager (MTM). The MTM requires the subjects to reach visual targets with a hand-held cursor. During progression of the test, the movement direction from the cursor on the computer screen will increasingly differ from the direction of the hand movement, forcing the unaware subject to implicitly adapt to the imposed cursor rotation. This test assesses a subjects ability to visuomotor adaption, perception and attention. Furthermore, as the task will be performed in the evening and after sleep in the next morning, we will be able to investigate overnight improvement of implicit learned skills.