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Autonomic Function and Exercise Performance in Elite Athletes with Cervical Spinal Cord Injury.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22914247     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
INTRODUCTION: 'Complete' cervical spinal cord injury (SCI)is commonly believed to cause decentralization of spinal sympathetic circuits and a consequent inability to meet the hemodynamicdemands of exercise.Recently, however, we have noticed that athletes with motor complete cervical SCI exhibit an exercise-induced tachycardia that appears to be at odds with the known effects of sympathetic decentralization. PURPOSE: To determine the physiological basis of this response, and in doing so to investigateassociations between autonomic function, international wheelchair rugby federation (IWRF) classification, andindices of exercise performance in highly-trained athletes. METHODS: Seven Paralympic wheelchair rugby players with motor complete cervical SCI werefirstly classified according to IWRF classification, then assessed for autonomic function (sympathetic skin response [SSR]) and cardiovascular function (systolic blood pressure [SBP]in response to sit-up tilt). Next,peak heart rate (HRpeak) anddistance covered during a field-based maximal 4-minpush were measured. Finally, peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and HRpeak during laboratory-based maximal incremental arm-crank exercise were measured. RESULTS: All athletes demonstrated an intact SSR (2.7 ± 1.2 responses from 5 stimulations), little or no change in SBP in response to sit-up tilt (-22 ± 16 mmHg), and exercise-induced tachycardia (HRpeak = 152 ± 20 bpm).SSR was significantly correlated with HRpeak in the field, 4-min push distance, and VO2peak (all rho ≥ 0.946), whereas current IWRF classification was not. CONCLUSION: All participants exhibited partial preservation of descending sympathetic control. We also found that the degree of remaining SSR, but not IWRF classification, was strongly correlated with indices of exercise performance.The findings suggest that the degree of remainingsympathetic control is an important determinant of exercise performancein athletes with cervical SCI.
Authors:
Christopher R West; Lee M Romer; Andrei Krassioukov
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medicine and science in sports and exercise     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1530-0315     ISO Abbreviation:  Med Sci Sports Exerc     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8005433     Medline TA:  Med Sci Sports Exerc     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
1International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 2Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK 3Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada 4G. F. Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver, Canada.
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