Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biker's warning! EPO hits blood vessels to raise blood pressure in the brain

Date:
December 13, 2011
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Erythropoietin might be considered a "performance enhancing" substance for athletes, but new research shows these enhancements cause increased risk of vascular problems in the brain. According to the study, short- or long-term use of EPO raises blood pressure by constricting arteries, which reduces the flow of blood to the brain. This finding also contradicts earlier evidence suggesting that EPO may be a viable early treatment for stroke victims.

Erythropoietin or EPO might be considered a "performance enhancing" substance for athletes, but new research published online in The FASEB Journal shows that these enhancements come at a high cost--increased risk of vascular problems in the brain. According to the study, short- or long-term use of EPO raises blood pressure by constricting arteries, which reduces the flow of blood to the brain. This finding also contradicts earlier evidence suggesting that EPO may be a viable early treatment for stroke victims.

"The new findings of this study urge to scrutinize present indications for EPO, and so help to better delineate positive versus adversary health effects of EPO for each patient," said Peter Rasmussen, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. "Future research should aim at developing an EPO-based agent for treatment that does not have a negative effect on the blood vessels of the brain."

To make this discovery, Rasmussen and colleagues evaluated the effects of acute high doses of EPO for three days and chronic low doses of EPO for 13 weeks in two groups of healthy males. Responsiveness of brain vessels during rest and during bike-riding exercise, with and without hypoxia, was examined. Blood vessels were also analyzed using ultrasound measurements and by measuring how much oxygen reached the brain. They found that prolonged EPO administration increased hematocrit, while acute administration did not. They also found that both groups had increases in blood vessel constriction and higher blood pressure.

"EPO is used by doctors to increase red blood cells in sick people who can't make enough of them: it's called honest medicine. When EPO is used by healthy bikers and runners to boost their performance, it's called cheating. Now we know that folks who use EPO covertly are cheating not only the time-clock, but themselves," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Not only is EPO likely unsafe in healthy athletes, but there are many other ways to build up stamina without drugs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Rasmussen, Y.-S. Kim, R. Krogh-Madsen, C. Lundby, N. V. Olsen, N. H. Secher, J. J. van Lieshout. Both acute and prolonged administration of EPO reduce cerebral and systemic vascular conductance in humans. The FASEB Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-193508

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Biker's warning! EPO hits blood vessels to raise blood pressure in the brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209171938.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2011, December 13). Biker's warning! EPO hits blood vessels to raise blood pressure in the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209171938.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Biker's warning! EPO hits blood vessels to raise blood pressure in the brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209171938.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins