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Tríkala, Greece

Dinas P.C.,University of Thessaly | Koutedakis Y.,University of Thessaly | Flouris A.D.,Performance Technology | Flouris A.D.,Biomnic Ltd.
Irish Journal of Medical Science | Year: 2011

Introduction: Depression is a very prevalent mental disorder affecting 340 million people globally and is projected to become the leading cause of disability and the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease by the year 2020. Aim: In this paper, we review the evidence published to date in order to determine whether exercise and physical activity can be used as therapeutic means for acute and chronic depression. Topics covered include the definition, classification criteria and treatment of depression, the link between β-endorphin and exercise, the efficacy of exercise and physical activity as treatments for depression, properties of exercise stimuli used in intervention programs, as well as the efficacy of exercise and physical activity for treating depression in diseased individuals. Conclusions: The presented evidence suggests that exercise and physical activity have beneficial effects on depression symptoms that are comparable to those of antidepressant treatments. © Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2010.

Carrillo A.E.,Performance Technology | Christodoulou V.X.,Performance Technology | Koutedakis Y.,University of Thessaly | Flouris A.D.,Biomnic Ltd.
Journal of Sports Sciences | Year: 2011

We assessed autonomic nervous system modulation through changes in heart rate variability during an archery competition as well as archery performance by comparing novice and experienced adolescent archers. Seven novice (age 14.0±8.5 years, body mass index 22.9±4.3 kg · m-2, training experience 0.4±0.3 years) and ten experienced archers (age 16.5±10.3 years, body mass index 22.4±3.1 kg · m-2, training experience 4.1±0.9 years) volunteered. Using beat-by-beat heart rate monitoring, heart rate variability was measured for 20 s before each arrow shot during two rounds of competition. We found that, compared with novices, experienced adolescent archers: (i) take more time per shot; (ii) have a higher low frequency band, square root of the mean of squared differences between successive R-R intervals (i.e. the time elapsing between two consecutive R waves in the electrocardiogram), and percentage of successive normal-to-normal intervals greater than 50 ms; and (iii) demonstrate an increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity compared with pre-competition values. We propose that these characteristics of experienced archers are appropriate for optimal performance during competition. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Dinas P.C.,Performance Technology | Koutedakis Y.,University of Thessaly | Koutedakis Y.,University of Wolverhampton | Flouris A.D.,Performance Technology | Flouris A.D.,Biomnic Ltd.
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Given the widespread incidence of smoking as well as its deleterious health effects, it is crucial to examine practical and cost effective prognostic markers assessing its health impact. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a straightforward and cost effective technique to foresee health problems of cardiovascular nature and may be used to predict in advance smoking-induced health effects. In this review we evaluate the existing biological evidence regarding the effects of smoking on HRV and their associated cardiovascular consequences. In addition, we summarize fundamental information on the various HRV indicators and their diagnostic significance in relation to heart failure. An in depth analysis of the various HRV indices characterizing changes in the activation of the autonomic nervous system is provided together with a critical evaluation of all evidence published to date on the influence of chronic and acute active and passive smoking on HRV. Overall, the vast majority of published evidence suggests that acute and chronic active and passive smoking generate marked disruptions in the normal autonomic nervous system functioning characterized by increased sympathetic drive and reduced HRV and parasympathetic modulation. The proposed mechanisms that may generate this smoke-induced HRV reduction as well as its clinical implications are thoroughly evaluated. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Carrillo A.E.,Performance Technology | Koutedakis Y.,University of Wolverhampton | Koutedakis Y.,University of Thessaly | Flouris A.D.,Performance Technology | Flouris A.D.,Biomnic Ltd.
British Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2011

The malleability of mammalian biology during early life, which carries considerable weight throughout the course of the lifespan, may contribute to the creation of a human phenotype ideal for prime physical performance. In this article, the authors consider the East African cohort of exceptional athletes that dominate marathon performance. Since entering international marathon competition in 1960, East Africans have competed at the front of the pack and now hold the top 10 men's marathon times. The authors present lines of evidence supporting that exposure to factors such as altitude and early metabolic adjustments that are inherent in East African early life exert a strong influence in later life physical performance and may collide with a genetic advantage to induce biological changes that allow for a more robust biological response to training in later life.

Carrillo A.E.,Performance Technology | Cheung S.S.,Brock University | Flouris A.D.,Performance Technology | Flouris A.D.,Biomnic Ltd.
Microcirculation | Year: 2011

Objectives: To generate a model that predicts fingertip blood flow (BF f) and to cross-validate it in another group of subjects. Methods: We used fingertip temperature (T f), forearm temperature minus T f (T For-f), rectal temperature (T re), and their changes across time ( lagT) to estimate BF f. Ten participants (six male, four female) were randomly divided into "model" and "validation" groups. We employed a passive hot-cold water immersion protocol during which each participant's core temperature increased and decreased by 0.5°C above/below baseline during hot/cold conditions, respectively. A hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis was introduced to generate models using temperature indicators and lagT (independent variables) obtained from the model group to predict BF f (dependent variable). Results: Mean BF f (109.5±158.2PU) and predicted BF f (P-BF f) (111.4±136.7PU) in the model group calculated using the strongest (R 2=0.766, p<0.001) prediction model [P-BF f =T f× 19.930+ lag4T f×74.766+ lag4T re×124.255-447.474] were similar (p=0.6) and correlated (r=0.880, p<0.001). Autoregressive integrated moving average time-series analyses demonstrated a significant association between P-BF f and BF f (R 2=0.381; Ljung-Box statistic=8.097; p<0.001) in the validation group. Conclusions: We provide a model that predicts BF f via two practical temperature indicators that can be implemented in both clinical and field settings. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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