2017 Press Releases


  • Early-life Trauma May Increase Heart Disease Risk in Adults

    Released December 7, 2017 - Stress in early life may change the immune response in the kidneys, increasing the risk of heart disease later in life, according to a new study. The paper, published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for December.
  • Red Blood Cell Function, Renewal the Focus of Sickle Cell Conference Symposium

    Released November 8, 2017 - Researchers will meet to discuss the physiology, function and future of red blood cells (RBCs) in sickle cell disease (SCD) at the “Red Cell Physiology” symposium during the APS Physiological and Pathophysiological Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Out of Balance: Gut Bacterial Makeup May Exacerbate Pain in Sickle Cell Disease

    Released November 7, 2017 - An overabundance of the bacteria Veillonella in the digestive tract may increase pain in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Researchers from Howard University will present their findings at the APS Physiological and Pathophysiological Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Stress, Fear of Pain May Be Cause of Painful Sickle Cell Episodes

    Released November 6, 2017 - Mental stress and the anticipation of pain may cause blood vessels to narrow and trigger episodes of severe pain (vaso-occlusive crisis, or VOC) in sickle cell disease (SCD). A team of researchers from California will present their findings at the APS Physiological and Pathophysiological Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Sickle Cell Patients Experience Improved Quality of Life with Alzheimer’s Drug

    Released November 6, 2017 - A popular drug commonly used to treat Alzheimer’s disease has shown promise in laboratory and clinical trials for treating patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Researchers have found that the molecule memantine stabilizes the development, longevity and function of red blood cells and is well-tolerated by SCD patients. The findings will be presented at the APS Physiological and Pathophysiological Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Sickle Cell Conference to Discuss Causes and Pathways to a Cure

    Released October 31, 2017 - Leading experts in the field of sickle cell disease (SCD) research will convene in Washington, D.C., for the Physiological and Pathophysiological Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease conference (November 6–8). The conference will explore SCD—the world’s most prevalent single gene mutation disease—and new research on preventing and reversing its deadly consequences.
  • Hypertension in Women: Review Calls for More Data to Improve Treatment

    Released October 26, 2017 - Women account for half of all cases of high blood pressure (hypertension) in the U.S., yet the majority of hypertension research focuses on men. A review of more than 80 studies highlights sex differences in hypertension-related kidney (renal) disease and explores possible reasons why women respond differently than men. The article, published in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology, emphasizes the need for more hypertension research in females.
  • Exercise Nerve Response in Type 1 Diabetes Worsens over Time

    Released October 18, 2017 - A new study finds that late-stage type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) weakens the autonomic reflex that regulates blood pressure during exercise, impairing circulation, nerve function and exercise tolerance. The study is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology.
  • Scientists Find New RNA Class in Kidneys Is Linked to Hypertension

    Released October 5, 2017 - Researchers from the University of Toledo (Ohio) College of Medicine and Life Sciences have discovered more than 12,000 different types of noncoding RNA (circRNAs) in the kidney tissue of rats. This type of genetic material, previously thought to have no function, may play a significant role in regulating blood pressure in heart and kidney disease. The article, published in Physiological Genomics, was chosen as an APSselect article for October.
  • Review Study Explores Causes of Physical Inactivity

    Released October 4, 2017 - A new review of more than 500 studies examines the environmental and physiological causes of physical inactivity and the role it plays in the development of chronic disease. The article is published in Physiological Reviews.
  • New Generation Drugs May Hold Key to Alternative Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

    Released September 6, 2017 - Close to 70 percent of men with erectile dysfunction (ED) respond to the ED drug sildenafil. However, only about 50 percent of men with diabetes—a population commonly affected by ED—achieve positive results with sildenafil. Researchers from the Smooth Muscle Research Centre at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, in Dundalk, Ireland, are studying two new drugs that may give men with diabetes—and others for whom conventional treatment is ineffective—new hope for treating ED. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology.
  • Turtles May Hold the Key to Protecting Human Hearts after Heart Attack

    Released August 28, 2017 - In humans, going just minutes without oxygen—such as during a heart attack or stroke—can cause devastating damage to the heart. Conversely, freshwater turtles hibernate for months at the bottom of frozen lakes and awake with no heart damage in the spring. Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. are looking to these turtles to understand the mechanisms that protect them from heart damage. “We investigated whether turtles may avoid oxidative damage in the heart after winter hibernation by specifically inhibiting the mitochondrial protein complex I, which is responsible for the production of ROS,” Amanda Bundgård, lead author of the study, explained. The research team will present their findings at the Physiological Bioenergetics: Mitochondria from Bench to Bedside conference in San Diego.
  • Taking It to the Clinic: Using Mitochondria to Diagnose Disease

    Released August 28, 2017 - Leading researchers will discuss advances in understanding the role of mitochondria in health and disease and the use of the “powerhouse of the cell” as a clinical diagnostic tool during the “Translating the Mitochondria—Taking It to the Clinic” symposium at the American Physiological Society’s (APS’s) Physiological Bioenergetics: Mitochondria from Bench to Bedside conference.
  • miRNA Could Be Key in Predicting Atrial Fibrillation Risk Following Surgery

    Released August 13, 2017 - One in three patients who undergo cardiac surgery—such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or heart valve procedures—experience an irregular heartbeat after surgery (postoperative atrial fibrillation or PoAF). Researchers at Aurora Research Institute and Aurora Cardiovascular Services in Milwaukee have identified a molecule that can be measured with a noninvasive blood test to help predict the patients most at risk of this postoperative complication. They will present their findings at the Cardiovascular Aging: Old Friends and New Frontiers conference in Westminster, Colo.
  • Cardiovascular Aging Symposium Explores Dysfunction and Disease Development

    Released August 12, 2017 - During the “Novel Implications for Blood Flow and Vascular Dysfunction in Non-cardiovascular Related Disease” symposium at the APS Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends conference, researchers will present findings that emphasize the interaction between age-related cardiovascular dysfunction and disease whose risk increases with age.
  • Menopausal Status May Better Predict Blood Vessel Health in Women than Fitness Level

    Released August 12, 2017 - High physical fitness is known to be related to enhanced blood vessel dilation and blood flow (endothelial function) in aging men. However, for women, endothelial function and the effect of exercise may be related more to menopausal status than fitness. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst will present their findings today at the Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends conference in Westminster, Colo.
  • E-Cigarette Use Accelerates Effects of Cardiovascular Aging

    Released August 12, 2017 - A new study suggests that a single exposure to e-cigarette (e-cig) vapor may be enough to impair vascular function. Researchers from West Virginia University will present findings today at the Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends meeting in Westminster, Colo.
  • Researchers Explore a Better Way to Measure Blood Pressure

    Released August 12, 2017 - Automatic blood pressure devices are often used to assess blood pressure levels at home and in the clinic. But these automatic devices are prone to significant errors, sometimes leading to the prescription of blood pressure-lowering medications to patients who don’t actually need them. Researchers at the Jerusalem College of Technology and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel have developed a method to more accurately measure systolic blood pressure. They will present their findings at the Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends conference in Westminster, Colo.
  • Strategies to Optimize and Slow Cardiovascular Aging

    Released August 11, 2017 - Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. and growing older is the greatest—and most inevitable—risk factor for it. So what, if anything, can we do to keep our hearts and arteries as healthy as possible for as long as possible? Keynote speaker Douglas Seals, PhD, of the University of Colorado Boulder, will lay the groundwork of what we know and the promising research that could combat cardiovascular aging in his presentation “Strategies for Optimal Cardiovascular Aging.” Seals will present his lecture at the Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends conference in Westminster, Colo.
  • Staying Young at Heart's the Focus of Upcoming Cardiovascular Conference

    Released July 27, 2017 - Aging—the No. 1 risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease—and maintaining cardiovascular health is the main focus of the upcoming APS conference “Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends.” The conference—which will convene exercise, aging, cardiovascular and other researchers—will be held August 11–14, 2017, in Westminster, Colo.
  • Genetic Differences May Contribute to Changes in Astronauts’ Eyes

    Released June 29, 2017 - Researchers have found that genetic variation may increase susceptibility of some astronauts to develop higher-than-normal carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which may contribute to eye abnormalities, including grooved bands on the retina in the eye and swelling of the optic nerve. The study is published in Physiological Reports.
  • Beetroot Juice May Provide Benefits to Heart Disease Patients

    Released May 10, 2017 - A new study finds that dietary nitrate—a compound that dilates blood vessels to decrease blood pressure—may reduce overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system that occurs with heart disease. The research team looked specifically at beetroot juice, a source of dietary nitrate, to explore its use as a future targeted treatment option for people with cardiovascular disease. The study, published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology, is the first to study the effects of nitrate supplementation on sympathetic nerve activity.
  • How Walking Benefits the Brain

    Released April 24, 2017 - Researchers at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) found that the foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain. The research is presented at the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago.
  • Can Aromatherapy Calm Competition Horses?

    Released April 26, 2017 - Although studies suggest that inhaling certain scents may reduce stress in humans, aromatherapy is relatively unexplored in veterinary medicine. But new research presented today at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting in Chicago raises the question of whether aromatherapy may be beneficial to horses as well.
  • Statins May Provide Treatment Alternative for Chronic Liver Disease

    Released March 23, 2017 - Statin drugs are widely used to manage high cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But in a new review of more than 50 studies, researchers cite reductions in liver inflammation and improvements in other related factors as reasons why statins make good candidates for treating chronic liver disease. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.
  • “Superhero Physiology: the Case for Captain America”

    Released February 28, 2017 - A common challenge to educators across all disciplines is making learning interesting for students. Researchers from Mississippi State University outline a compelling strategy to teach physiology to undergraduate students: using real physiological concepts to explain some of the extreme physical transformations of the fictional superhero Captain America. The article is published in Advances in Physiology Education.
  • Raising Dietary Potassium to Sodium Ratio Helps Reduce Heart, Kidney Disease

    Released February 21, 2017 - Reducing sodium (salt) in the diet has been recommended to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. However, in a new review article, University of Southern California researchers found that increasing dietary potassium is as important to improving the risk factors for cardiovascular and kidney disease as limiting dietary sodium. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism.
  • Sports-Related Concussion Negatively Affects Heart Rate, Blood Pressure

    Released February 9, 2017 - A new study finds that concussion causes short-term impairment of the cardiovascular system but that these cardiovascular symptoms typically resolve within three days of the injury. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
  • Researchers Find Unhealthy Gut Microbes a Cause of Hypertension

    Released February 2, 2017 - Researchers have found that the microorganisms residing in the intestines (microbiota) play a role in the development of high blood pressure in rats. The study is published in Physiological Genomics. It was chosen as an APSselect article for February.
  • Whole-Body Heat Stress Lowers Exercise Capacity, Blood Flow in Men

    Released February 1, 2017 - Researchers have found that prolonged exposure to high temperatures can raise both the skin and core temperature, reducing blood flow to the brain and limbs during exercise and limiting the ability to exercise for long periods. The study, the first of its kind to separate the effects of skin- versus internal-raised temperature (hyperthermia), is published in Physiological Reports.
  • Type, Not Just Amount, of Sugar Consumption Matters in Risk of Health Problems

    Released January 19, 2017 - The type of sugar you eat—and not just calorie count—may determine your risk for chronic disease. A new study is the first of its kind to compare the effects of two types of sugar on metabolic and vascular function. The paper is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology.