Document Detail

The overtraining syndrome in athletes: a stress-related disorder.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15717662     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Physical exercise is a type of allostatic load for several endocrine systems, notably the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Athletes undergoing a strenuous training schedule can develop a significant decrease in performance associated with systemic symptoms or signs: the overtraining syndrome (OTS). This is a stress-related condition that consists of alteration of physiological functions and adaptation to performance, impairment of psychological processing, immunological dysfunction and biochemical abnormalities. Universally agreed diagnostic criteria for OTS are lacking. The pituitary-adrenal response to a standardized exercise test is usually reduced in overtrained athletes. This HPA dysfunction could reflect the exhaustion stage of Selye's general adaptation syndrome. The most attractive hypothesis that accounts for the observed neuro-endocrine-immune dysregulation is the Smith's cytokine hypothesis of OTS. It assumes that physical training can produce muscle and skeletal trauma, thus generating a local inflammatory reaction. With the excessive repetition of the training stimulus the local inflammation can generate a systemic inflammatory response. The main actors of these processes are the cytokines, polypeptides that modulate HPA function in and outside the brain at nearly every level of activity. It is hoped that future research will focus on endogenous risk factors for morbidities related to the neuro-endocrine-immune adaptation to exercise.
A Angeli; M Minetto; A Dovio; P Paccotti
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of endocrinological investigation     Volume:  27     ISSN:  0391-4097     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Endocrinol. Invest.     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-02-18     Completed Date:  2005-05-24     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7806594     Medline TA:  J Endocrinol Invest     Country:  Italy    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  603-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
General Medical Clinic, Departement of Clinical and Biological Sciences, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Cytokines / pharmacology
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology*
Peptides / pharmacology
Physical Exertion / physiology
Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology*
Risk Factors
Sports / physiology*
Stress, Psychological*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cytokines; 0/Peptides

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