ActiFS-Age: cardiovascular and neuromuscular responses to exercise throughout the adult lifespan

Trainee: Eric Luneau (PhD Student)

Collaborators: Dr Vianney Rozand (LIBM), Dr Juan Murias (University of Calgary) and many researchers and clinicians in St-Etienne.


Scientific summary

The primary goal of this project is establish the time course of decline in cardiovascular and neuromuscular function throughout the lifespan, and to determine the extent and duration to which this function can be preserved in chronically trained men, compared to community dwelling but otherwise untrained age-matched counterparts. Given that despite the relevance of exercise training interventions as cost-effective interventions to improve health and independence in the elderly, engagement in exercise programs is low, an important goal is to provide stakeholders with research based evidence of the extent to which exercise training can prevent loss of function.

This project will evaluate the effects of aging and fitness level on cardiovascular and neuromuscular function, with functional and health-related aspects of the main outcomes measures being the main focus. The specific objectives are to evaluate age- and fitness status-related differences:

- During maximal exercise by testing maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) during ramp incremental tests, and the central (i.e., maximal stroke volume (SV), maximal heart rate (HR), maximal cardiac output (Q)) and peripheral (i.e., dynamic adjustment of estimated blood flow) mechanisms that modulate this response.

- In submaximal cardiovascular responses through the dynamic adjustment of VO2 (VO2 kinetics) as well as central (i.e., SV, HR and Q) and peripheral (i.e., dynamic adjustment of estimated blood flow) components that contribute this these adjustments.

- In resting vascular responsiveness.

- In neuromuscular function at rest during isometric, concentric, eccentric and isokinetic contractions

- In force-velocity relationship during cycling sprints at rest among age-groups and training status.

- In fatigue resistance, evaluated with both isometric and dynamic contractions.


Key words: cardiovascular function, neuromuscular function, aging, fatigability, power, VO2max, VO2 kinetics.