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עמוד בית
Wed, 24.07.24

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March 2023
Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Howard Amital MD MHA

Fibromyalgia is one of the most significant causes of chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, heavily burdening both individual patients and the healthcare system. Hence, reducing the prevalence of the disorder is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the etiology and the exact risk factors leading to the development of fibromyalgia are not clearly known, making its prevention difficult and challenging. Nevertheless, there are numerous risk markers that are associated with an increased probability of the disease, such as obesity, psychological and physical stress, exposure to traumatic life events, certain infectious disorders, and co-morbid rheumatic and psychiatric disorders. It is reasonable to assume that targeting preventable risk markers may suppress consequent emergence of fibromyalgia, but studies investigating primary prevention on fibromyalgia are scarce. In this review, we examined several studies that discuss proven methods to prevent fibromyalgia, including maintenance of a normal body mass index, regular physical exercise, and psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

February 2023
Dana Yelin MD MPH, Ran Levi BPT, Chinanit Babu BPT, Roi Moshe MSc, Dorit Shitenberg MD, Alaa Atamna MD, Ori Tishler MD, Tanya Babich MSc, Irit Shapira-Lichter PhD, Donna Abecasis PhD, Nira Cohen Zubary MSc, Leonard Leibovici MD, Dafna Yahav MD, Ili Margalit MD, MPH

Background: Clinical investigations of long-term effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are rarely translated to objective findings.

Objectives: To assess the functional capacity of individuals reported on deconditioning that hampered their return to their pre-COVID routine.

Methods: Assessment included the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and the 30-second sit-to-stand test (30-STST). We compared the expected and observed scores using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Predictors of test scores were identified using linear regression models.

Results: We included 49 individuals, of whom 38 (77.6%) were recovering from mild COVID-19. Twenty-seven (55.1%) individuals had a 6MWT score lower than 80% of expected. The average 6MWT scores were 129.5 ± 121.2 meters and 12.2 ± 5.0 repeats lower than expected scores, respectively (P < 0.001 for both). The 6MWT score was 107.3 meters lower for individuals with severe COVID-19 (P = 0.013) and rose by 2.7 meters per each 1% increase in the diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide (P = 0.007). The 30-STST score was 3.0 repeats lower for individuals who reported moderate to severe myalgia (P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Individuals with long COVID who report on deconditioning exhibit significantly decreased physical capacity, even following mild acute illness. Risk factors include severe COVID-19 and impaired diffusing capacity or myalgia during recovery.

August 2022
Tavor Ben-Zeev MS, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, and Jay R. Hoffman PhD

The connection between physical exercise and the brain has long been studied. The evidence showing that physical exercise plays a significant role on neurogenesis and cognitive function has primarily been based on research examining aerobic exercise. In this review, we described three exercise modalities: aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance exercise and their impact on brain plasticity and cognitive function. While each of these exercise modalities have been demonstrated to positively influence brain plasticity and cognitive function, the specific mechanism that stimulates these changes appear to differ to some degree between these training modalities. The effect of aerobic and anaerobic exercise appears to be primarily mediated by changes in expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), lactate, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and several additional proteins within the brain. However, resistance exercise appears to influence brain plasticity by myokines such as irisin, insulin-growth factor-1 (IGF1), and BDNF that are secreted from skeletal tissue and stimulate neurogenesis within the brain. In addition to the various training modes, manipulation of various acute program variables such as intensity, volume, and rest intervals leads to numerous possible training paradigms that can provide a different stimulus for neurogenesis. This review focuses on the three primary training modes and their connection to neurogenesis and cognitive function.

November 2021
Tal David Berger MD, Anna Gorodnichenko MD, Akiva Fradkin MD, and Batia Weiss MD

Background: Adequate dietary habits and physical activity during childhood and adolescence may promote growth and cognitive development and contribute to the prevention of chronic disease in later life. School is considered an important social environment that can promote healthy eating habits and life-style changes.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of a school-based intervention on nutritional knowledge, eating habits, and physical activity of adolescents.

Methods: We conducted a prospective questionnaire-based study. Anonymous questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the academic year (September 2014) in one high school. During the following year, vending machines containing milk products were installed within the school facility, and students were given two informative nutrition lectures regarding proper nutrition for age, calcium requirement and importance, and physical activity. One active sports day was initiated. At the beginning of the following academic year (September 2015), the students completed the same questionnaires.

Results: The study was comprised of 330 teenagers, mean age 15.1 ± 1.39 years, 53% males. Response rate was 83.6% ± 0.4% to multiple choice questions, 60.7% ± 0.5% to multiple section tables, and 80.3% ± 0.9% to open questions. Post-intervention, respondents reported an increase in eating breakfast (57% vs. 47.5%, P = 0.02) and a decrease in purchasing food at school (61.6% vs. 54.3%, P = 0.03). No changes were observed in consumption of milk products, knowledge regarding calcium and vegetable consumption, or sports activities.

Conclusions: Short-term high school-based interventions may lead to improvements in eating habits but are not sufficient for changing nutritional knowledge and physical activity

July 2018
Yeela Ben Naftali MD, Irit Chermesh MD, Ido Solt MD, Yolanda Friedrich MD and Lior Lowenstein MD

Background: Abnormal gestational weight gain (GWG) has been associated with adverse outcomes for mothers and their offspring.

Objectives: To compare the achievement of recommended GWG and lifestyle factors in women with high-risk versus normal-risk pregnancies.

Methods: Pregnant women hospitalized in a gynecological and obstetrics department and pregnant women who arrived at a community clinic for a routine checkup were interviewed and completed questionnaires relating to weight gain and lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, diet, exercise). Recommended GWG was defined by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Results: GWG higher than ACOG recommendations was reported by 52/92 women (57%) with normal pregnancies and by 43/86 (50%) with high-risk pregnancies. On univariate analysis, characteristics associated with greater GWG were: current or past smoking, age > 40 years, pre-gestational body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2, low fruit intake, and high snack intake. High-risk pregnancies were associated with pre-gestational BMI > 25 kg/m2 (48% vs. 27%, P = 0.012), consumption of vitamins (84% vs. 63%, P = 0.001), avoidance of certain foods (54% vs. 21%, P = 0.015), receiving professional nutritionist consultation (65% vs. 11%, P = 0.001), and less physical activity (9% vs. 24%, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: A minority of pregnant women met the recommended GWG. No difference was noted between normal and high-risk pregnancies. High-risk population tended to have a less healthy lifestyle. Counseling to follow a healthy, balanced diet should be recommended, regardless of pregnancy risk, with particular attention to women at high risk of extra weight gain.

June 2018
Yosef Sonnenblick MA, Michal Taler PhD, Yaacov G. Bachner PhD and Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: Although exercise has been shown to improve mood and well-being, the precise mechanism remains unknown. Neurosteroids are important neuroactive molecules with demonstrated involvement in several neurophysiological and disease processes. Previous research has noted neurosteroid changes in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels following exercise.



Objectives: To determine whether changes in DHEA levels are associated with mood improvement after exercise and whether there are any differences in the effects on younger and older individuals. 



Methods: Individuals ≤ 50 years of age or > 65 years of age were recruited for study participation. Before and after 30 minutes of a standardized cycling regimen, each patient provided a blood sample and completed a questionnaire on mood and well-being. 



Results: Findings confirmed a significant increase in DHEA levels post-exercise. A decrease in negative factors (fatigue, tension, depression, anger) and an increase in positive mood factors were noted. No difference in change of measures was noted between younger and older subjects. A positive correlation was noted between mood change and DHEA blood-level changes in older subjects. Among older males, DHEA appeared to be associated with mood change after exercise. 



Conclusions: While preliminary, findings indicate a possible association between mood improvement following exercise and DHEA blood level changes. Understanding the biological mechanisms of exercise-induced mood changes is critical to utilizing exercise as a treatment for mood disorders.

Robert Klempfner MD, Boaz Tzur MD, Avi Sabbag MD, Amira Nahshon MA, Nelly Gang MD, Ilan Hay MD, Tamir Kamerman MA, Hanoch Hod MD, Ilan Goldenberg MD and David Rott MD

Background: About half of all patients with heart failure are diagnosed with heart failure preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Until now, studies have failed to show that medical treatment improves the prognosis of patients with HFpEF.

Objectives: To evaluate changes in exercise capacity of patients with HFpEF compared to those with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) following an exercise training program.

Methods: Patient data was retrieved from a multi-center registry of patients with heart failure who participated in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Patients underwent exercise testing and an echocardiogram prior to entering the program and were retested6  months later.

Results: Of 216 heart failure patients enrolled in the program, 170 were diagnosed with HFrEF and 46 (21%) with HFpEF. Patients with HFpEF had lower baseline exercise capacity compared to those with HFrEF. Participating in a 6 month exercise program resulted in significant and similar improvement in exercise performance of both HFpEF and HFrEF patients: an absolute metabolic equivalent (MET) change (1.45 METs in HFrEF patients vs. 1.1 in the HFpEF group, P = 0.3).

Conclusions: An exercise training program resulted in similar improvement of exercise capacity in both HFpEF and HFrEF patients. An individualized, yet similarly structured, cardiac rehabilitation program may serve both heart failure groups, providing safety and efficacy.

April 2018
Anne Graham Cummiskey MBBS, Amit Segev MD, Michael Segel MD, Jonathan Buber MD, Victor Guetta MD, Israel M. Barbash MD, Dan Elian MD, Elad Asher MD, Ori Vaturi MD and Paul Fefer MD

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the utility of exercise hemodynamics during right heart catheterization (RHC) in the diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction (DD). Little data exists regarding exercise hemodynamics during RHC in symptomatic systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. 

Objectives: To assess the added diagnostic value of using exercise hemodynamics during RHC in assessment of patients with symptomatic SSc.

Methods: We performed 22 RHCs in 17 SSc patients with dyspnea and/or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Exercise was performed in 15 RHCs using isotonic arm exercises while holding a 1 kg weight in each hand. Measurements of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP), and cardiac output (CO) were taken at rest and during peak exercise. 

Results: Normal resting RHC (PAP 22 ± 3 mmHg, PAWP 11 ± 3 mmHg) was found in seven cases. Of these, exercise induced elevation in PAP was found in three (38 ± 7 mmHg), and exercise induced elevation in PAWP was found in four (24 ± 6 mmHg). Elevated resting PAP was found in 15 (41 ± 11 mmHg) with minor changes in exercise. Of the 22 RHCs, elevation of the PAWP was found in 11 (50%), half of which were in response to exercise. 

Conclusions: In symptomatic SSc patients, exercise hemodynamics provides important information on diastolic dysfunction that is not available with non-invasive testing. Findings on exercise RHC can explain patient symptoms in up to 50% of cases. Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of patient symptoms can aid in tailoring the correct therapy for each.

July 2015
Mauro Calvani MD, Valentino Giorgio MD, Monica Greco MD and Stefano Miceli Sopo MD
January 2014
Sandor Balsamo, Leonardo R. Diniz, Leopoldo L. dos Santos-Neto and Licia M.H. da Mota
September 2013
T. Fuchs, A. Torjman, L. Galitzkaya, M. Leitman and R. Pilz-Burstein

Background: Sudden death in athletes can occur during sport activities and is presumably related to ventricular arrhythmias.

Objectives: To investigate the long-term follow-up of athletes with ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test.

Methods: From a database of 56,462 athletes we identified 192 athletes < 35 years old who had ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test. Ninety athletes had ≥ 3 ventricular premature beats (VPB) (group A) and 102 athletes had ventricular couplets or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT) during an exercise test (group B). A control group of 92 athletes without ventricular arrhythmias was randomly selected from the database (group C). Of the 192 athletes 39 returned for a repeat exercise test after a mean follow-up period of 70 ± 25 months and they constitute the study population.

Results: Twelve athletes from group A, 21 from group B and 6 from group C returned for a repeat exercise test. The athletes reached a significantly lower peak heart rate during their follow-up exercise test (P = 0.001). More athletes were engaged in competitive sports during their initial exercise test than in the follow-up test (P = 0.021). Most of the athletes who had VPB and/or ventricular couplets and/or NSVT during their initial exercise test had far fewer ventricular arrhythmias in the follow-up exercise test (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Athletes engaged in competitive sports are more likely to develop ventricular arrhythmias during exercise. These arrhythmias subside over time when athletes are engaged in non-competitive sports. 

January 2012
Shmuel Kivity, MD

The prevalence of food allergy is increasing in both the pediatric and adult populations. While symptom onset is mostly during childhood, there are a considerable number of patients whose symptoms first begin to appear after the age of 18 years. The majority of patients with adult‑onset food allergy have the pollen-plant allergy syndromes. Many of them manifest their allergy after exercise and consuming food to which they are allergic. Eosinophilic esophagitis, an eosinophilic inflammation of the esophagus affecting individuals of all ages, recently emerged as another allergic manifestation, with both immediate and late response to the ingested food. This review provides a condensed update of the current data in the literature on adult-onset allergy.

December 2011
T. Fuchs, A. Torjman, L. Galitzkaya, M. Leitman and R. Pilz-Burstein

Background: Sudden death in athletes can occur during sport activities and is presumably related to ventricular arrhythmias. There are no guidelines concerning athletes who develop ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test. It is unclear whether they should be allowed to continue with their competitive activity or not.

Objectives: To investigate the long-term follow-up of athletes with ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test.

Methods: From a database of 56,462 athletes we identified 192 athletes, less than 35 years old, who had ventricular arrhythmias during an exercise test. Ninety athletes had ≥ 3 ventricular premature beats (group A) and 102 athletes had ventricular couplets or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia during an exercise test (group B). A control group of 92 athletes without ventricular arrhythmias was randomly selected from the database (group C).

Results: All athletes, except one who died from a dilated cardiomyopathy, were alive during a follow-up period of 70 ± 25 months. An abnormal echocardiogram was obtained in seven athletes from group A (10%), four from group B (5%), and one from group C (3%) (not significant). An abnormal echocardiogram was more likely to be present in competitive athletes (P = 0.001) and in female athletes (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Our results showed that ventricular arrhythmias during exercise are more commonly associated with cardiovascular abnormalities in young competitive athletes and in female athletes. When present, they necessitate a thorough investigation and follow-up.
 

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