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Funding Continues for Diabetes Research; Subjects Still Needed

Sheri Colberg-Ochs, a professor of human movement sciences at Old Dominion University and a nationally recognized authority on the topic of diabetes, athletics, sport and fitness, recently received the third and final installment of her three-year clinical research grant from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

This latest award of $180,000 brings the total value of the grant, for "Protective Health Effects of Differing Types and Intensities of Exercise Training in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes," to $544,000.

Regular physical activity can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (DM) and many diabetes-related complications. However, controversy still exists regarding the optimal amount of exercise needed for improved health and what type of exercise is most beneficial. Colberg-Och's study addresses this debate.

"Both aerobic and resistance training have resulted in improvements in glycemic control and other health parameters in diabetes, but not necessarily equally," Colberg-Ochs said. "This project involves two exercise training studies."

In the first study, people with type 2 DM, including those with and without nerve damage to their feet (diabetic polyneuropathy), are randomly assigned to participate in 12 weeks of supervised exercise training three days a week, consisting of either moderate or high-intensity aerobic exercise (like walking, jogging or stationary cycling).

A second study tests two intensities of resistance training, moderate versus vigorous. "We anticipate that this study will show which types and intensities of exercise are best for improving the quality of life for people with nerve damage in their feet who are more prone to foot ulcers, amputations, falls, and early disability, along with providing attainable exercise goals that will provide the most benefit, health-wise, to anyone with diabetes," Colberg-Ochs said.

Colberg-Ochs, the principal investigator for the ADA grant, is conducting the research in collaboration with Steven Morrison, endowed professor of physical therapy at ODU, and Drs. Aaron Vinik and Henri Parson of the Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.

The researchers are still recruiting subjects for the studies - people, ages 40-70, with type 2 DM. Initial eligibility will be determined via a phone screening. Those who make it past this step will be required to have a full screening and physical exam. Training is three times a week at ODU (in the Movement Exercise Lab at the Student Recreation Center) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 12 weeks per study. Participants receive free use of exercise programs for an extra three months after each study. For the initial screening, contact Noeline at 446-7975 or GuillaNT@evms.edu.

This article was posted on: November 11, 2010

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