Scott Davis, Peter Weyand, Sushmita Purkayastha, Ken Springer, Ollie Jay, Mu Huang
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disease of the central nervous system (CNS) affecting an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. Marked by lesions in the brain and spinal cord, MS leads to conduction abnormalities in the CNS. Evidence suggests ~60% of individuals with MS experience temporary worsening of their symptoms upon exposure to heat. Adding complexity, observational evidence suggests these individuals exhibit reduced thermoregulatory responses in upon increases in core temperature. Consequently, these individuals face a vicious cycle of heat sensitivity and thermoregulatory dysfunction, substantially impacting their quality of life. With this in mind, our lab is dedicated to understanding how MS affects the thermoregulatory system. Therefore, our lab will test 3 aims to examine the impact of MS on thermoregulatory function:
1. Does MS blunt thermoregulatory responses to a passive whole-body heat stress?
2. Does MS blunt thermoregulatory responses to exercise of a fixed heat production?
3. Does MS impair sweat gland and cutaneous vasculature responses independent of core temperature?
By understanding the mechanisms by which these individuals face thermoregulatory dysfunction, we can progress the knowledge of how MS affects these individuals, and potentially develop pharmaceutical therapies or cooling strategies to help prevent putting these individuals at an increased risk for trademark heat-related aggravation of MS related symptomology (i.e., Uhthoff’s phenomenon).
Applied Physiology and Wellness
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Allen, Dustin R., "Thermoregulatory Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis" (2018). Applied Physiology and Wellness Theses and Dissertations. 1.