CERG at science fair for children

Biralee International SchoolCERG had the privilege of joining the Biralee International School Science Fair in Trondheim to witness the brilliance of young scientists in the making.

Everyone at the school (from the very young 3-4 year olds to the 10 graders) participated in the science fair.

The youngest pupils focused on a single project and tried to find out if the seed can grow when things it needs to become a plant are taken away or what happens to fruit when it is exposed to air and water.

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Exercise Training as Medicine in Trondheim

Åpning av Nasjonal kompetansetjeneste for trening som medisinApril 18th 2016 the Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Exercise Training as Medicine for Cardiopulmonary Conditions was officially opened at St. Olav’s Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital in Norway.

The advisory unit concerns the dissemination of knowledge about exercise training as treatment for people with coronary heart disease, heart failure, peripheral artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The service is involved in educationresearch and promotion of exercise training as medicine for those cardiopulmonary conditions.

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Does it matter if you exercise indoors or outdoors?

Line Skarsem ReitloIt is well documented that physical activity has favorable health effects, but does it matter where you exercise? Are there more health benefits of exercising outdoors compared to indoors?

Some prefer working out in the gym or in the privacy of their own home, while others enjoy getting out for some fresh air. Exercise is good for you whether you prefer doing it indoors or outdoors. However, according to a systematic review that included more than 800 adults, outdoor exercise was associated with more health benefits compared to indoor activity.

Data from eleven controlled trials were included in the study. The results showed favorable effects on self- reported mental health after exercising outdoors. These effects were not seen after exercising indoors. Exercising outdoors was associated with decreased depression, anger and tension.

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Why “Survival of the fittest”?

Anne Marie Ormbostad BerreWe all know that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and that we should be physical active. However, why is that? Why does evolutionary biologist describe natural selection as survival of the fittest meaning that the “fit” has a greater probability for survival than the “unfit”.  Under follows a brief and simplified history lesson on why we become “born to be active”.

Once superior locomotive skills and physical capacity were essential for human survival and certainly a reason that Homo sapiens developed and prospered. Physical capacity was important in order to evade predators and secures food supply. Comparative physiologists (Hochachka et al., 1999) together with anthropologist (Bramble and Lieberman, 2004) has hypothesized that superior traits of endurance capacity together with an impressive ability to thermoregulate was essential for ancestral humans from the high plains of East Africa to succeed as game hunters. A success which ensured high protein sources of food which again was important for the development of larger brains and complex cooperative behavior compared to other primates. Simply stated: Physical capacity was necessary for human survival and development.

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A Revolutionary Metric System to Help Your Lifestyle – CERG research in new Fitness app

Ulrik WisløffJanuary 6th, the fitness app Mio PAI is launched during CES 2016 in Las Vegas. The app is based on CERG research.

“This is based on solid medical research. We have developed an algorithm, PAI – personal activity intelligence, which relies on the data from The HUNT Study,” CERG leader, Professor Ulrik Wisløff, explained to Adresseavisen.

Wisløff thinks the app could revolutionize the measurement of exercise effects.

“PAI score adapts the individual user’s lifestyle and creates customized targets that are realistic to achieve. As long as the heart rate reaches a certain zone for a certain period, the user will achieve maximum health impact”, Wisløff told the Norwegian newspaper.

PAI is based on incredibly robust data. With a large population we have studied over many years, through The Hunt Study, this is unique.

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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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The only cardiovascular disease that is still increasing – can exercise help patients with diastolic heart failure?

Anne Marie Ormbostad BerreThere are several large ongoing project in CERG and OptimEx is one of them. OptimEx is a large multicentre project financed by the European Union and researchers, engineers and technicians from several countries and institutions are involved. I am working with OptimEx as a PhD student and therefore I will give the readers of our blog a short version of what OptimEx is all about and why it is invested so much in the project.

As we already know, lifestyle diseases are a huge and increasing burden on the healthcare system. One of the lifestyle diseases that are continuing to grow is heart failure with preserved ejection fraction named HFpEF. HFpEF is one of two types of heart failure affecting more than 7 million Europeans and accounting for 50% of all heart failure cases.

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High fitness reduces risk of atrial fibrillation

Two women running outdoorOverweight, hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnea increases the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF). Interventions aimed at these risk factors are known to reduce the risk and improve the outcome for most cardiovascular diseases. However, there has been lacking knowledge on the effect of such interventions on AF, and there has been considerable attention on the finding that large amounts of endurance exercise increases the risk of developing AF. Recent years, there have been published some studies examining this topic.

Read also: CERG at ESC 2014

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International Scholar Award to Linda Ernstsen

ACSM logo

Linda ErnstsenAmerican College of Sports Medicine’s 62nd Annual Meeting, 6th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise Fatigue is held May 26-30, 2015 San Diego, California. This is the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science conference in the world with more than 6000 participants.

It is a great pleasure to announce that ACSM has selected Linda Ernstsen from K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine as the 2015 ACSM Oded Bar-Or International Scholar Award recipient.

The price allows Dr. Ernstsen to work with, and learn from, the world-leading expert in “Exercise Epidemiology” Professor Steven Blair at Departments of Exercise Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, for 3 months. Currently she lives in South Carolina and have already started her work with Professor Blair and his research group where the aim is to learn new methodological approaches within epidemiological and clinical research on the association between physical fitness, mental health and cognitive function.

On Friday May 29, she will be recognized and receive the price at the ACSM Awards Banquet. K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine is proud of Ernstsen´s achievement, wish her all the best of luck working at University of South Carolina, and look forward to get her back home with new knowledge that will benefit our research group.

Ulrik Wisløff, professor and head of CERG

Does the cell’s own powerhouse contribute to depression?

Woman looking sadly out of a windowThe mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells, where nutrients from food is converted to ATP: energy that is usable by the body. Normally, we associate better mitochondrial function with athletes: being able to run, swim or bike fast over long distances requires a lot of energy.

However, all cells in the body require energy and a team of researchers from the University of Ulm, Germany investigated if mitochondrial function was impaired in immune cells (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) of patients suffering from depression. Their reasoning was that symptoms of depression such as fatigue and lack of energy could be related to ATP availability.

Read also: Can exercise training prevent premature death in elderly?

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