UAMS Gene Study to Help Individuals Benefit from Exercise

By todd

The Journal of Physiology published the study, directed by Charlotte Peterson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Geriatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine, director of the University Microarray Core Facility and health research scientist at the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System, and Richard Dennis, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the Department of Geriatrics.

Muscle inflammation is a normal response to weight lifting and plays a critical role in muscle repair and muscle strengthening, but excess muscle inflammation may be detrimental to building muscle strength. The study shows that some people have a significantly greater inflammatory response to exercise than others and that difference appears to be associated with the Interleukin-1, or IL-1, gene variations.

“Our ultimate goal is to use these findings to identify individuals, especially in the elderly population, who will most benefit from specialized exercise and/or nutrition programs,” Dennis said.

Dr. Kenneth Kornman, Interleukin’s chief scientific officer and a collaborator on the study, said the genetic information will be used to develop products to help individuals based on their genetics and other risk factors.

“This study by Drs. Dennis and Peterson is one example of how genetic information may be useful to guide healthy individuals to remain well and active,” Kornman said.

Interleukin Genetics is a biotechnology company focused on developing personalized health products.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,170 students and 650 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of about $3.8 billion a year.

UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute.