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The Effects of Resistance Exercise With Blood Flow Restriction on Flow-Mediated Dilation and Arterial Stiffness in Elderly People With Low Gait Speed: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Amorim, Samuel and Degens, Hans and Passos Gaspar, Alexandra and De Matos, Luciana Diniz Nagem Janot (2019) The Effects of Resistance Exercise With Blood Flow Restriction on Flow-Mediated Dilation and Arterial Stiffness in Elderly People With Low Gait Speed: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 8 (11).

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Abstract

Background: During aging, a significant loss of muscle mass, strength, and power is associated with a decline in daily functional capacities. Traditionally, resistance training is prescribed to prevent or reverse the skeletal muscle weakness, but the required training intensity may be too demanding for older people with poor physical performance. Resistance exercise with blood flow moderation (KAATSU training), originally developed in Japan, combines resistance exercise with blood flow restriction. It has been reported that KAATSU training enhances muscle hypertrophy in many populations. However, few studies have evaluated the effects of resistance exercises with blood flow restriction in elderly people and how this affects vascular structure and function. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate (1) the acute and chronic effects of resistance exercise with blood flow restriction on vascular health in elderly people with low gait speed and (2) whether low-load resistance training with blood flow restriction elicits similar strength and gait speed gains to those elicited by conventional resistance training without blood flow restriction. Methods: This is an ongoing randomized controlled trial in elderly people with low gait speed. Overall, two study arms of 13 participants each perform resistance exercise with and without blood flow restriction. The 2 groups are as follows: the control group will perform conventional resistance exercise (60% of 1 repetition maximum) and the KAATSU group will perform the low-load resistance exercise with blood flow restriction (20% of 1 repetition maximum) for 12 weeks. Pulse wave velocity, venous occlusion plethysmography, and flow-mediated dilation are used to assess arterial stiffness, muscle blood flow, and endothelial function, respectively. The secondary outcomes are gait speed, strength, and quality of life. All measures will be performed before and after the training program. Results: This research study is in progress. Recruitment has started, and data collection is expected to finish in August 2020. Conclusions: The findings of this study will have important implications for the rehabilitation of elderly people.

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