Burtscher 2012 High Alt Med Biol

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Burtscher M, Gnaiger E, Burtscher J, Nachbauer W, Brugger A (2012) Arnold Durig (1872-1961): life and work. An Austrian pioneer in exercise and high altitude physiology. High Alt Med Biol 13:224-31.

» PMID: 22994523

Burtscher M, Gnaiger E, Burtscher J, Nachbauer W, Brugger A (2012) High Alt Med Biol

Abstract: Arnold Durig (1872-1961) grew up in the Austrian mountains in the period when intense exploration of the Alps started. As an enthusiastic mountaineer, scientist, and physician, he became one of the pioneers exploring physiological and pathophysiological aspects of humans sojourning to high altitudes. At the beginning of the 20th century, Durig was one of the great physiologists whose knowledge covered the whole field of physiology. Durig founded a renowned School and his students spread all over the world. He stayed in close contact with many colleagues and famous scientists, such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Although he was an extremely productive and acknowledged physiologist and teacher at that time, his work and life are not very well known at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, even by high altitude physiologists. Thus, this article provides an overview on Durig's life and work, highlighting the most important scientific studies he performed at moderate and high altitudes, in an attempt to provide a few links to the development of high altitude research in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, complemented by some comments from a current Point of view.

Physiology, Durig's life and work, Moderate and high altitudes O2k-Network Lab: AT Innsbruck Gnaiger E, AT Innsbruck OROBOROS

Labels: Mammal;model: Human  Stress: Ischemia-reperfusion 

Some remarks from a recent point of view

p. 230

Arnold Durig’s perspective of ‘healthy aging’ reads like a modern account of life style and quality of life, with a connection to traditional alpine farming which belongs to history today, and written in the spirit of an enthusiastic mountaineer: ``This rapid loss in physical power is typical of the industrial worker, while the farmer retains his strength undiminished far into old age. A true proof of the social value of a system is the length of life before invalidism. The longer this period extends, the better one finds the working and living conditions to have been. Of course, there are many other factors which are not in the realm of physiological research but which are responsible for the premature exhaustion of the industrial worker. These include unhygienic shops, industrial disease, unhealthy homes, bad habits of life, the desolating effects of alcoholism, and other excesses. Also psychical influences, the monotony of much machine labor, the noise of the machines, worry for the future, the compulsion to work, and many other mental influences can act upon the duration of the period of joy in work and thereby also reduce the power to work. We know that work accomplished against personal wish requires a greater expenditure of energy than that accomplished out of love and desire`` (Durig, 1916; translated in Lusk, 1928).

Science and adventure

Monte Rosa

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