Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828
SUNY Upstate receives $2 million NIH grant to study bone density of young female gymnasts
SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Funded by a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, SUNY Upstate Medical University researchers will investigate whether gymnastic participation during childhood and adolescence leads to stronger, thicker bones in adulthood, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones) in old age. Principal investigator SUNY Upstate Associate Professor Tamara A. Scerpella, MD, has been studying the skeletal effects of gymnastics during growth for more than a decade.
Researchers will compare growth in bone density, size, shape and strength for female gymnasts between the ages of 9 and 11 with non-gymnasts of the same age over a span of five years. In addition, this funding will allow continued monitoring of bone properties in gymnasts and non-gymnasts from an earlier study, begun in 1997, as they age into their mid-20s.
“Our work uses gymnastics as a model for impact loading exercise, evaluating the effect that this exercise has on the growing skeleton. Our earlier study shows that gymnastic activity increases bone acquisition during growth, yet the extent to which these benefits are maintained is unclear,” said Scerpella, an orthopedic surgeon who, as an undergraduate, was a gymnast at the University of Iowa. “This work will provide a unique longitudinal perspective of bone growth and skeletal maintenance in the context of maturation and physical activity, and will assess the feasibility of developing an appropriate adolescent exercise prescription to increase adult bone strength.”
Scerpella currently is seeking participants for her study. Participants must be healthy girls ages 8 to 12, be able to commit for all five years of the study, and attend bone measurement appointments every six months. Throughout the course of the study, in addition to measuring bone density and shape, study participants will be asked questions about diet and exercise and undergo strength tests for hip, shoulder and elbow muscles. Study participants will be compensated. For more information, or to enroll in the study, contact Tina Craig, research coordinator, Department of Orthopedic Surgery at 315-464-8618.
Search Upstate News
Upstate in the News
- Exposure to music can help your baby learn important skills
WTVH CBS5 Syracuse
- White coats and a white picket fence for couple matched together
WSYR TV9 Syracuse
- Upstate med students celebrate 'Shut Up and Match' day (Video)
Syracuse Post Standard
- Upstate Medical receives $375K grant for mental-health training program
Central New York Business Journal
- New Preventive Services Task Force Member Named
Advance for Health Information Executives
- CNY family hopes for marrow match; Upstate students line up to see if they match
Syracuse Post Standard