Exercise reduced burden of atrial fibrillation

Vegard Malmo. Foto: Andrea Hegdahl Tiltnes / NTNU“Time in atrial fibrillation and symptoms of the disease were reduced, and exercise capacity, cardiac function, lipid levels and quality of life were improved in the patients preforming high intensity interval training”, PhD candidate at CERG and medical doctor at St. Olavs Hospital,  Vegard Malmo.

He is first author in the paper “Aerobic Interval training reduces the burden of atrial fibrillation in the short term: A randomized trial” recently published in Circulation. In this study, 51 persons with non-permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) were randomized either to high intensity interval training (four 4-minute intervals at 85-95% of peak heart) rate three times a week for 12 weeks or a control group (continuing their earlier exercise habits). Minutes of AF each day was monitored continuously with an implanted recorder. In addition cardiac function, exercise capacity, lipid status, quality of life and AF symptoms were assessed.

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The Physically Active Less Prone to Post-Heart Attack Depression

Linda ErnstsenDepression is common and estimates suggest that in a family of four, one of the family members will likely suffer from mental health problems. Depression is even 3 times more common in patients after a heart attack than in the general population. Depression after a heart attack is bad not only because of the accompanying emotional distress, it also increases the risk of having another heart attack or premature death.

Studies of patients with coronary heart disease with elevated depressive symptoms support that exercise is just as effective as antidepressant drugs, and that the reduction in depressive symptoms among those participating in cardiac rehabilitation is related to improvements in fitness. All together the existing literature gives support for a positive effect of aerobic exercise on depressive symptoms in patients with established heart disease.

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CO-rebreathing technique safe for patients with coronary artery disease

Forsker ved CERG Trine KarlsenThe CO-rebreathing technique for measuring total blood volume and hemoglobin mass is safe to perform in stable coronary artery disease patients having completed cardiac rehabilitation. Trine Karlsen and colleagues show this in a resent study ”Safety of the CO-Rebreathing Method in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease”, published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal.

“The aim of the study was to investigate the use of this methodology in stable coronary artery disease patients to allow for an implementation of the methodology in this patient group”, Karlsen says. Knowledge of total blood volume and absolute hemoglobin mass is vital when evaluating cardiovascular physiology and function, as well as physical activity performance.

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Exercise in Medicine

Just before Christmas we arranged our 6th seminar on Exercise in Medicine in Trondheim. Over 100 scientists were gatered to present and discuss existing and future research projects within exercise in medicine. We want to thank all our guests for coming all the way to Trondheim to participate in the seminar. We had some interesting and inspiring days, and are looking forward to future collaborations.

Enjoy the Christmas holiday, but stay active!

juleløpingIn 1966 a legendary study from Dallas was published where they studied the effect of total inactivity for 3 weeks. After this 3 week period, the so-called “Dallas bed-rest study” found an increase in body weight, body-fat and a marked decline in fitness level. 30 years later they followed up the same participants and re-examined their health status. As one might expect after 30 years of aging, both body weight, body fat percentage and fitness declined from the happy 20s (before the 3 weeks of bed-rest). However, they found that they were in better shape after 30 years of aging than they were after 3 weeks of inactivity! What many researchers are asking now is if the decline in fitness associated with aging is caused by lower activity level with aging compared to activity level as young.

Some of this we are trying to answer with the Generation 100 study, which you can read more about in our blog here!

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KATP channels – important players in exercise-induced cardiac protection

Jasna MarinovicGuest blog: Collaborator Jasna Marinovic, Assistant professor at University of Split School of Medicine
Department of Integrative Physiology

Membrane potential is one of the most basic properties of all living cells that is vital for proper cellular function and homeostasis. At rest, most cells in our body exhibit negative membrane potential, which is primarily established via continuous efflux of potassium (K+) ions through their respective channels. In excitable cells, such as cardiac myocytes, K+-channel opening affects cellular excitability, action potential frequency and duration, with resulting impact on contraction strength, ionic balance, oxygen demand, etc.

Among different subtypes of channels specialized for conducting potassium, a unique group, which is expressed at high density in membrane of cardiac cells, are the ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels. Although under no-stress conditions they do not actively participate in action potential formation, their evolutionary conservation and abundance implicate their physiological importance. Indeed, the KATP channels serve as cellular metabolic sensors, opening in situations of cardiac stress and translating metabolic changes into alterations of membrane potential. Intactness of the KATP channels was shown essential for cardiac tolerance to stress and adaptations to increased workload, such as during increased blood pressure, chronic exercise, oxidative stress, as well as acute damage by cardiac ischemia. In humans, mutations in KATP channel subunits were found in a subset of patients with idiopathic heart failure and were associated with worse clinical outcome as compared to patients without the mutations.

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We are better together

Jose Bianco MoreiraAs medical scientists, we work towards a major goal: to improve human health through prevention and treatment of disease. Given the size of this challenge, a key feature of the most successful projects is capacity to bring together collaborators with complementary expertise and common interests. We at CERG have established partnership with scientists from all over the world, and in recent years we have strengthened our collaborations with researchers from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). As a highlight of this collaboration, we are excited to join our colleagues in Sao Paulo this week for the first UTFORSK Seminar in Exercise Physiology.

The UTFORSK project (ExercisePhysiology.no) started in 2014 and is a joint initiative between our research group (CERG) and the University of Sao Paulo (School of Physical Education and Sport). We’ve had several activities in the past months, including joint courses, exchange of students and joint supervision. The upcoming seminar will provide an informal environment for discussing our most exciting projects.

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Stay strong

Forsker ved CERG Trine KarlsenIf you would like to live a long and healthy life you should take good care of your skeletal muscles.

Our body is made up of over 660 skeletal muscles. Muscles mainly contain water, while approximately 20% are proteins and 5% salts and minerals. The muscle proteins have several distinct structures making muscle contractions and relaxations possible. By fine-tuned coordination of muscle contractions and relaxations we are able to walk and move around. Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins, also our skeletal muscle proteins. To maintain strong skeletal muscles, we need to eat a sufficient amount of food containing amino acids and to do lifelong exercise.

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What is your cholesterol? – Know your number!

Elisabeth Vesterbekkmo. Foto: BERRE ASFamilial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is the most common of all severe familial disorders and its hallmark is high LDL-cholesterol in plasma. The disease is carried by one out of 200-300 persons in Europe – that is to say a total of about 2 million people in Europe carry FH. The disease is present from early childhood, but is carried without symptoms until the third or fourth decade in life, when heart disease will appear. If untreated, 50 percent of men will have had their first heart attack before the age of 50 years, and women before 55 years. To carry FH is to carry a ticking bomb that, if untreated, will cause cardiac disease or death.

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Kun en av tre vet at de har arvelig høyt kolesterol

Elisabeth Vesterbekkmo. Foto: BERRE AS15.000 – 25.000 personer har arvelig høyt kolesterol – kun 1 av 3 er klar over at de har sykdommen.

Er du en av dem?

Familiær hyperkolesterolemi (FH) er en arvelig tilstand. Genfeilen gjør at man har en redusert evne til å ta opp kolesterol fra blodbanen og allerede fra fødselen av vil det vonde kolesterolet være økt. Overskuddet av kolesterol kan avleires i åreveggen og føre til hjerte- og karsykdommer.

Siden sykdommen ikke synes utenpå, kan mange ha den uten å være klar over det.

Sykdommen er omtrent like hyppig som diabetes type 1, men bare 6.500 personer har til nå fått diagnosen. Dermed er opp til 18.000 personer i Norge uvitende om at de har denne genfeilen.

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