Molecular changes in white blood cells can help diagnose 'the bends' earlier in divers


For over a century, researchers have known about “the bends”, a serious condition affecting scuba divers. However, we still know relatively little about its physiological basis. Doctors do not yet have a definitive test for the bends, instead relying on symptoms to diagnose it. A new study in Frontiers in Physiology is the first to investigate genetic changes in divers with this condition, finding that genes involved in inflammation and white blood cell activity are upregulated. The findings cast light on the processes underlying the bends, and may lead to biomarkers that will help doctors to diagnose the condition more precisely.



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