Genetic Factors Control Heart Rate in Response to Exercise

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Patricia Munroe PhD Professor of Molecular Medicine William Harvey Research Institute Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London

Prof. Munroe

Prof. Patricia Munroe PhD
Professor of Molecular Medicine
William Harvey Research Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Queen Mary University of London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the years, it has become increasingly evident that impaired capacity to increase heart rate during exercise and reduce heart rate following exercise are important predictors of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. A person’s capability to regulate their heart rate is the result of complex interactions of biological systems, including the autonomic nervous and hormonal systems. Prior work has demonstrated that genetic factors significantly contribute to variations in resting heart rate among different individuals, but less was known about the genetic factors modulating the response of heart rate to exercise and recovery.

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When Do Organized Activities for Kids Become Too Much?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Sharon Wheeler PhD

Dr Sharon Wheeler PhD Lecturer in Sport, Physical Activity and Health Department of Sport and Physical Activity Faculty of Arts and Sciences Edge Hill University Lancashire

Dr. Wheeler

Lecturer in Sport, Physical Activity and Health
Department of Sport and Physical Activity
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Edge Hill University
Lancashire

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is well-known that family background and parents’ investment in their children has a big impact on a number of outcomes, including how well people do at school, the jobs they get, and how they spend their leisure time. It is also known that it is middle-class parents who tend to work particularly hard to make sure their children get on in life.

This research starts to question whether parents’ investment in their children’s organised activities is having the desired impact. Parents initiate and facilitate their children’s participation in organised activities as it shows that they are a ‘good’ parent and they hope such activities will benefit their children in both short-term (keeping fit and healthy, developing friendship groups) and long-term ways (getting jobs, having lots of opportunities in the future).

The reality, which has been highlighted in this research, is that while children might experience some of these benefits, a busy organised activity schedule can put considerable strain on parents’ resources and families’ relationships, as well as potentially harm children’s development and well-being.

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Does Exercise Slow Dementia?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Sarah E Lamb,  MSc, MA, MCSP, Grad Dip Statistics, DPhil Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Centre for Statistics in Medicine Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford

Prof. Lamb

Prof. Sarah E Lamb,  MSc, MA, MCSP, Grad Dip Statistics, DPhil
Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Centre for Statistics in Medicine
Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences
Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Scientists and clinicians have considered the possibility that higher intensity aerobic and muscle strength training might have a beneficial effect in preventing dementia or slowing the progression of cognitive impairment in those who have dementia.

The hypothesis has come mostly from animal research.

The main findings of our research which used a large sample and high quality methods was that higher intensity exercise, whilst possible, did not slow cognitive impairment. Neither did it have an impact on the functional and behavioural outcomes for people with dementia. It was a substantial commitment for people to participate in the programmes, although many enjoyed the experience and their physical fitness improved.

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Resistance Exercise Training May Alleviate Some Depressive Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“gym” by FooJFoo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0Mr. Brett R. Gordon, M.Sc.

Postgraduate researcher
Physical Education and Sport Sciences Department
University of Limerick, Ireland. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Depression is prevalent, burdensome, and often comorbid mood disorder that is associated with other poor health outcomes. Exercise training interventions have demonstrated comparable efficacy for depressive symptoms to frontline treatments, such as antidepressant medications and behavioral therapies.

However, the evidence to date has primarily focused on findings from studies of aerobic exercise training like jogging, running, and cycling. Our work is the first quantitative summary of the effects of resistance exercise training (RET), or weight lifting and strength training, on depressive symptoms, and the influence of variables like participant characteristics, features of the RET, and the methods that were used in studies on the antidepressant effects of RET.

The main finding was that resistance exercise training significantly reduced depressive symptoms among adults regardless of their health status, the total prescribed volume of RET (e.g., how much the participants were supposed to exercise), or whether or not strength was significantly improved by the RET intervention.  Continue reading

Yoga Breathing Really Does Help You Focus – Namaste!

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Open Space Yoga Hawaii” by Open Space Yoga Hawaii is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Michael Christopher Melnychuk PhD candidate
Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience
Trinity, Dublin 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Practitioners of yoga have claimed for some 2,500 years, that respiration influences the mind. In our study we looked for a neurophysiological link that could help explain these claims by measuring breathing, reaction time, and brain activity in a small area in the brainstem called the locus coeruleus. We chose to focus on the locus coeruleus because this area and the chemical it produces play intimate roles in both attention and respiration.

The locus coeruleus produces noradrenaline and releases it to the entire brain. This neurotransmitter functions as an all-purpose action system. When we are stressed we produce too much noradrenaline and we can’t focus. When we feel sluggish, we produce too little and again, we can’t focus. There is a sweet spot of noradrenaline in which our emotions, thinking and memory are much clearer.  Continue reading

Every Pitch Should Count

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Pitching Crop” by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jason L. Zaremski, MD, CAQSM, FACSM, FAAPMR

Assistant Professor│Divisions of PM&R, Sports Medicine, & Research
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Co-Medical Director Adolescent & High School Outreach Program
University of Florida College of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Throwing injuries are common in baseball and can be caused by excessive pitch counts, year-round pitching, and pitching with arm pain and fatigue. Despite the evidence, pitching injuries among high school players have not decreased. With a multitude of research in overhead throwers, yet the volume of overuse throwing injuries not decreasing, our team suspected there was a missing workload factor in baseball pitchers. Therefore, our team conducted research to determine whether an important factor was being overlooked: volume of pitches thrown during warm-up between innings and bullpen activity in high school varsity baseball pitchers.

In the study, our team counted all pitches thrown off a mound during varsity high school baseball games played by 34 different high schools in North Central Florida during the 2017 season. After counting nearly 14,000 pitches in 115 pitch outings, our team found that 42% of the pitches thrown off a mound were not accounted for in the pitch counts, and that there is a large variability of bullpen pitches being thrown from pitcher to pitcher. Even with a greater focus on pitch counts as a way to prevent injuries, a substantial number of pitches are going unaccounted for in high school players as part of warm-up and bullpen activity.

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Performance Drops Along With Weight on Ketogenic Diets

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Edward "Ted" Weiss, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Saint Louis University Saint Louis MO 63104

Dr. Weiss

Edward “Ted” Weiss, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis MO 63104

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Ketogenic diets are popular. They are very low in carbohydrate, with moderate protein and large amounts of fat. They are popular for weight loss but definitive studies of this are lacking.

We tested the effects of a ketogenic diet on high-intensity exercise performance, such as sprinting. The result showed that the ketogenic diet was harmful to performance, reducing performance by 6 – 7% when compared to a high-carbohydrate diet.

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More Heart Attacks In Younger Men Following Canadian Hockey Games

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Wings Hawks Game 2-11” by Michael Kumm is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hung Q. Ly, M.D., S.M., FRCPC

President, Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology
Program Director, Adult Cardiology Postgraduate Training Program
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Interventional Cardiology Division,
Dept. of Medicine, Montreal Heart Institute, Montréal, Québec, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prior scientific reports have discussed the association between major sporting events and cardiovascular events, irrespective of the sport.

Ours is the first to report an increase in hospital admission rates for heart attacks in men younger than 55yo in the day following a hockey game.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response:  Emotional stress and lifestyle habits/behavioural patterns surrounding the spectatorship of hockey (i.e. drinking, unhealthy eating patterns, etc.) might make some Hockey (sports) fans more susceptible to heart attacks. We report a statistically significant increase in the incidence of heart attacks in young men watching the sport. This was an association that we manage to document but not an actual causal relationship. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:  (1) Ascertain causality: Document that the “watching/attending a hockey game” was indeed an activity that the patient presenting with a heart attack did indeed do; (2) randomize sports fan to lifestyle changes and/or stress management strategies to explore if there is a decrease in cardiovascular events around the time of a sporting event. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response:  (1) I am a hardcore, diehard (no pun intended) Montreal Canadiens fan, which motivated me to perform this analysis; (2) We accounted for the effect of harsh winter conditions as a potential confounder of the increase in hospital rate admission for heart attacks; (3) we were quite surprised that victory, instead of defeat, lead to an increase in events; (4)  I have to conflict of interest to declare.

Citations:

Caroline E. Gebhard, Catherine Gebhard, Foued Maafi, Marie-Jeanne Bertrand, Barbara E. Stähli, Karin Wildi, Zurine Galvan, Aurel Toma, Zheng W. Zhang, David Smith, Hung Q. Ly. Hockey Games and the Incidence of ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cjca.2017.12.028

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Every Minute Counts! Short Bursts of Physical Activity Reduces Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Metabolic Epidemiology Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute, NIH, HHS Rockville, MD 20850

Dr. Saint-Maurice

Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Metabolic Epidemiology Branch
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
National Cancer Institute, NIH, HHS
Rockville, MD 20850

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 Response: The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults do 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity physical activity (PA) in increments of at least 10 minutes at a time. However, there is limited epidemiologic evidence supporting the use of the 10-minute increment and whether shorter increments (for instance walking up the stairs) can also be beneficial for health in adults. We looked at accelerometer-measured physical activity in roughly 5,000 adults (40 and older) representative of the US population and followed them prospectively (over 7 years) to determine whether physical activity accumulated in 10-minute increments, but also accumulated in shorter bursts, were associated with lower risk of death (mortality data came from the National Death Index). Continue reading

Fit Obese Patients Can Be Healthy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Elliptical Stationary Bikes GVSU Winter Hall Exercise Center 2-4-15” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jennifer L. Kuk, PhD

Associate Professor
York University
School of Kinesiology and Health Science
Sherman Health Science Research Centre
Toronto, Ontario  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

– The benefits of fitness are well know, but it was unclear whether the benefits applied to those with severe obesity.  This is even more important give that the health risks associated with severe obesity are exponentially higher than in mild obesity.  Fitness in this study was defined as the top 80% of a normal population.This means that unfit is the bottom 20%.  In the past, research has shown that this threshold of fitness is associated with the biggest health benefits.

– We see that 40% of individuals with mild obesity are fit, while 11% of those with severe obesity are fit.  Individuals with high fitness had no differences in health risk, despite the large differences in obesity (~50-100 pounds).  Conversely, those within the unfit group did have significantly higher glucose, blood pressure and lipids with higher obesity levels.

In other words, fitness was able to protect individuals with severe obesity from many of the expected negative health consequences.  Continue reading