Document Detail

Is it time to retire the 'central governor'?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19691362     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Over the past 13 years, Noakes and his colleagues have argued repeatedly for the existence of a 'Central Governor', a specific brain centre that provides a feed-forward regulation of the intensity of vigorous effort in order to conserve homeostasis, protecting vital organs such as the brain, heart and skeletal muscle against damage from hyperthermia, ischaemia and other manifestations of catastrophic failure. This brief article reviews evidence concerning important corollaries of the hypothesis, examining the extent of evolutionary pressures for the development of such a mechanism, the effectiveness of protection against hyperthermia and ischaemia during exhausting exercise, the absence of peripheral factors limiting peak performance (particularly a plateauing of cardiac output and oxygen consumption) and proof that electromyographic activity is limiting exhausting effort. As yet, there is a lack of convincing experimental evidence to support these corollaries of the hypothesis; furthermore, some findings, such as the rather consistent demonstration of an oxygen consumption plateau in young adults, argue strongly against the limiting role of a 'Central Governor'.
Roy J Shephard
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)     Volume:  39     ISSN:  0112-1642     ISO Abbreviation:  Sports Med     Publication Date:  2009  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-20     Completed Date:  2009-10-08     Revised Date:  2011-05-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412297     Medline TA:  Sports Med     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  709-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Cardiac Output / physiology
Central Nervous System / physiology*
Exercise / physiology
Fever / physiopathology
Heart / physiology
Homeostasis / physiology*
Ischemia / physiopathology
Models, Biological
Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
Oxygen Consumption / physiology
Physical Exertion / physiology*
Comment In:
Sports Med. 2010 Mar 1;40(3):265-8; author reply 268-70   [PMID:  20229620 ]
Sports Med. 2010 Jan 1;40(1):91-2; author reply 92-4   [PMID:  20020789 ]
Sports Med. 2011 Apr 1;41(4):263-77   [PMID:  21425886 ]

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