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  • Author: Viswanath B. Unnithan x
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Viswanath B. Unnithan and Bogdan Wilk

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of upper-limb dominance on the forearm sweating pattern in cerebral palsy (CP). Eight boys with CP (13.1 ± 3.1 years) performed three 10-min bouts of an arm-cranking exercise at 35°C, 50% relative humidity. After the third bout, the sweat drops on both forearms were photographed. Sweat gland density (PD) and the average sweat drop area (DA) were determined. PD was significantly higher (p < .05), whereas DA was significantly lower (p < .05) on the nondominant compared with the dominant forearm. The sweating pattern in spastic CP is influenced by upper-limb dominance.

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Viswanath B. Unnithan and Roger G. Eston

Previous studies have consistently shown that the body mass/relative oxygen cost of submaximal treadmill running is greater in children than in young adults. It has been suggested that the obligatory increased stride frequency in children might be at least partly responsible. This hypothesis was investigated by examining the association between stride frequency and oxygen demand characteristics in 10 aerobically fit prepubescent boys (ages 9-10 yrs) and 10 fit young men (ages 18-25 yrs) while running at fixed submaximal speeds on an electronically driven treadmill. The oxygen demand was higher at all running speeds in the boys’ group. To compensate for a shorter stride length, the boys demonstrated higher stride frequency at all speeds. To determine if the inferior running economy in the boys was partly due to the greater stride frequency, the relative oxygen demand per stride was compared between groups at all speeds. This value was similar in both groups. It is concluded that the apparently greater oxygen demand of running in boys may be due in part to the greater stride frequency required to maintain similar running speeds.

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Tracy Baynard, Viswanath B. Unnithan, Kenneth H. Pitetti and Bo Fernhall

This study evaluated detection of ventilatory threshold (VT) in adolescents with mental retardation (MR) (17 with MR, 13 with MR and Down Syndrome (DS), mean age 17.5 years). Subjects performed an individualized treadmill VO2peak test. Two evaluators reviewed the same VT plots 6 weeks apart, using 5 different methods. VE vs. time elicited the most detectable cases (83%), but significantly fewer youth with DS exhibited a detectable VT using any combination of methods (62% vs. 100%). Only VE vs. time yielded acceptable detection rate, although this may have been influenced by the protocol used. Intra-evaluator correlation coefficients ranged from 0.91-0.97, and interevaluator reliability coefficients ranged from 0.81-0.93. These findings suggest determination of VT is difficult in this population when using an individualized treadmill protocol, especially in adolescents with DS.

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Amanda J. Griffin, Viswanath B. Unnithan and Peter Ridges

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a weekend of swimming competition on various physiological parameters in a group of elite female swimmers. Eight female swimmers (age, 16.6 ± 0.5 years) participated in this study. Resting blood lactate (Bla) and heart rate (HR) were taken at the beginning of each testing session. Testing involved a discontinuous incremental peak VO2 treadmill test during which on-line, measures of VO2 were obtained. HR and Bla measurements were taken at the end of each exercise increment. A 30-s leg Wingate test (WAnT) was used to measure anaerobic power. Paired t-tests were carried out on all data. Resting HR was significantly higher and submaximal and maximal HR were significantly lower comparing pre- and postcompetition (p < .005). Resting Bla and submaximal VO2 were significantly higher postcompetition (p < .005). The results suggest that swimming competition causes a number of the recognized symptoms related to excitatory (acute) overtraining

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Andrew R. Middlebrooke, Gail Stephenson and Viswanath B. Unnithan

Nine first team (age, 11.7 ± 0.32 years) and nine reserve team (age, 11.8 ± 0.32 years) soccer players completed a discontinuous incremental exercise test to exhaustion on a treadmill. Each submaximal stage lasted 3 min. Irnrnediately after each stage, contrast sensitivity and peripheral vision were assessed. No significant differences were found between the groups for VO2peak. Reserve team players had significantly lower (p < .05) submaximal values of %VO2peak and ΔHR (pre-exercise heart rate) at the same running speed comparedto first team players. Significant relationships (p < .05) were noted between outer peripheral vision and respiratory exchange ratio following maximal exercise (r = 0.55) and between respiratory rate and outer peripheral vision following the first (8.0 krn · h−1) exercise stage, r = −0.49. However, it was difficult to reconcile physiological significance to these relationships, which would only account for 24 to 29% of the shown variance.

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Maria Giné-Garriga, Míriam Guerra, Esther Pagès, Todd M. Manini, Rosario Jiménez and Viswanath B. Unnithan

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-wk functional circuit-training program (FCT) could alter markers of physical frailty in a group of frail community-dwelling adults. Fifty-one individuals (31 women, 20 men), mean age (± SD) 84 (± 2.9) yr, met frailty criteria and were randomly assigned into groups (FCT = 26, control group [CG] = 25). FCT underwent a 12-wk exercise program. CG met once a week for health education meetings. Measures of physical frailty, function, strength, balance, and gait speed were assessed at Weeks 0, 12, and 36. Physical-frailty measures in FCT showed significant (p < .05) improvements relative to those in CG (Barthel Index at Weeks 0 and 36: 73.41 (± 2.35) and 77.0 (± 2.38) for the FCT and 70.79 (± 2.53) and 66.73 (± 2.73) for the CG. These data indicate that an FCT program is effective in improving measures of function and reducing physical frailty among frail older adults.

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Viswanath B. Unnithan, Ellinor M. Kenne, Lynne Logan, Scott Collier and Margaret Turk

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of partial body weight support on the oxygen cost of treadmill walking in children and adolescents with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). Five children and adolescents (2 girls and 3 boys) with spastic CP (12.4 ± 3.6 years) volunteered for the study. Participants performed three 4-min tread mill walks on three separate days at their comfortable treadmill walking speeds. At each visit a different partial body weight harness setting was used. Significant (p < .05) differences in oxygen cost were found when the harness was worn but not connected to the support frame. Partial body weight support reduces the oxygen cost of walking in children and adolescents with spastic CP.