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1.  Leg extension test, sEMG and vibratory stimuli to assess functional recovery following knee joint surgery 
Objective: the purpose of this study was to introduce new procedure to determine the magnitude of functional recovery after knee surgery. Design: we compared the performance in the leg extension test and the response in the sEMG activity to vibration in the operated to the non-operated leg. Thirty-eight patients with knee operation and 14 healthy subjects participated in these experiments. Results: during leg extension test, the mechanical power of the operated leg showed a lower value (P<0.001) than the contralateral one, while no differences were noted in the sEMG activity. The sEMG activity during vibration treatment was higher in the operated compared to non-operated leg (P<0.001). It has been suggested that the reduced motility trigger functional adaptations that are exhibited via the vibration test. Conclusions: results of our study suggest that combination of vibration and sEMG recordings may detect the impairment as well as monitoring progress of the rehabilitation programs.
PMCID: PMC3666514  PMID: 23738286
sEMG; whole body vibration; leg extension test; knee surgery recovery
2.  Athletic humans and horses: Comparative analysis of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in trained and untrained subjects at rest 
BMC Physiology  2011;11:3.
Horses and humans share a natural proclivity for athletic performance. In this respect, horses can be considered a reference species in studies designed to optimize physical training and disease prevention. In both species, interleukin-6 (IL-6) plays a major role in regulating the inflammatory process induced during exercise as part of an integrated metabolic regulatory network. The aim of this study was to compare IL-6 and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in trained and untrained humans and horses.
Nine highly trained male swimmers (training volume: 21.6 ± 1.7 h/wk in 10-12 sessions) were compared with two age-matched control groups represented by eight lightly trained runners (training volume: 6.4 ± 2.6 h/wk in 3-5 sessions) and nine untrained subjects. In addition, eight trained horses (training volume: 8.0 ± 2.1 h/wk in 3-4 sessions) were compared with eight age-matched sedentary mares. In humans, IL-6 mRNA levels in PBMCs determined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were significantly higher in highly trained subjects, whereas IL-6R expression did not differ among groups. In horses, transcripts of both IL-6 and IL-6R were significantly up-regulated in the trained group.
Up-regulation of IL-6R expression in PBMCs in horses could reflect a mechanism that maintains an adequate anti-inflammatory environment at rest through ubiquitous production of anti-inflammatory cytokines throughout the body. These findings suggest that the system that controls the inflammatory response in horses is better adapted to respond to exercise than that in humans.
PMCID: PMC3036646  PMID: 21255427

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