UBC Undergraduate Research

Exercise-induced asthma : time course of refractory period Kwon, Jae-Young; McKenzie, Don; LaBreche, Jane 2010-03-15

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Exercise-Induced Asthma: Time Course of Refractory Period Jae-Young Kwon, Don McKenzie, Jane LaBreche School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre  What We Know  Methods  • Exercise-induced asthma is a narrowing of the airways with symptoms of wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing that is triggered by exercise. • Refractory period is the time after asthma attack when an individual is at decreased risk of developing a second attack. • Only half of the subjects with exerciseinduced asthma demonstrate refractory period which lasts up to four hours.  Figure 1. Change in FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second) after first bout of exercise following warm-up.  Subject A  Figure 2. Change in FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second) after second bout of exercise following warm-up.  Subject B  • In previous asthmatic studies, lungs narrowed without proper warm-up exercise. On the other hand, lungs dilated if warm-up intensity was increased to 60% of maximal exercise capacity.  Conclusion • Subject A and B (Fig 1 & 2) maintained their pulmonary function after exercise, suggesting that the warm-up helped to dilate the lungs. • Although there are variability between subjects, it is safe to conclude that thirty minutes after the first bout of exercise is enough for lungs to return to baseline conditions.  Purpose • To asses the time frame required for pulmonary function to return to baseline after two exercise bouts following proper warm-up in asthmatics. Figure 3. Both subjects showing normal spirometry on maximal expiratory flow volume (MEFV) maneuvers after exercise.  • Future research should focus on how the refractory period could be used to treat exercise-induced asthmatics instead of medications.  

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