Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

After an ACL tear: Research opens door to new treatments to improve recovery for athletes

Date:
June 13, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Researchers have identified a new drug target that may prevent one of the most dreaded consequences of an ACL tear -- the weakening or loss of muscle tissue (muscle atrophy) that can be a career-killer in sports and ultimately develop into osteoarthritis.

Functional knee strength testing is conducted at the U-M Health System’s MedSport facility to measure muscle weakness after an ACL injury.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System

Striking the likes of Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose and Detroit Tigers' Victor Martinez, tears in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are one of the most rampant and serious knee injuries among athletes.

Now, researchers from the University of Michigan Health System have identified a new drug target that may prevent one of the most dreaded consequences of an ACL tear -- the weakening or loss of muscle tissue (muscle atrophy) that can be a career-killer in sports and ultimately develop into osteoarthritis.

A hormone called myostatin that blocks muscle growth appears to play a key role in causing muscle damage after ACL tears, according to a study that appears in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The findings pave the way for potential treatment preventing muscle loss after an ACL tear and consequent knee replacement, which affects more than 250,000 people a year in the U.S.

"We've had several advances in technology to improve the recovery process for an ACL tear, but most patients still experience 30-40 percent muscle weakness -- and that weakness largely limits the ability to return to the same level of sports," says lead author and athletic trainer Christopher L. Mendias, Ph.D., A.T.C, assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the U-M Medical School.

"This is the first study in humans to open the door to a potential therapy to prevent muscle atrophy. We see this as an important step in restoring athletic and functional abilities in the short term, and in preventing osteoarthritis in the long term."

Often dubbed an athlete's worst nightmare, ACL tears usually require surgical repairs and months of intense rehabilitation that force long breaks from playing any sports.

Myostatin has shown promise as a potential drug target for treating other conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cancer, and blocking the protein has led to increased muscle mass and strength.

"In the sports world, there's great concern about the short-term and long-term affect of an ACL tear on not only an athlete's physical skills and ability to return to play, but also the longevity and health of the knee joint," says senior author Asheesh Bedi, M.D., assistant professor in orthopedic surgery.

"This is the first study to look into the biology of muscle tissue involved in an ACL tear and to show how Myostatin affects the muscle damage we see following surgery. We need further studies to examine how these findings may aid in better recoveries following a common and often detrimental type of knee injury for athletes."

Additional authors: Evan B. Lynch, B.S.E.; Max E. Davis, B.A.; Elizabeth R. Sibilsky Enselman, ME.d.,A.T.C.; Julie A. Harning; Paul D. DeWolf, B.S.; Tarek A. Makki, B.S.

Funding: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases grant number AR058920.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. L. Mendias, E. B. Lynch, M. E. Davis, E. R. Sibilsky Enselman, J. A. Harning, P. D. DeWolf, T. A. Makki, A. Bedi. Changes in Circulating Biomarkers of Muscle Atrophy, Inflammation, and Cartilage Turnover in Patients Undergoing Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/0363546513490651

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "After an ACL tear: Research opens door to new treatments to improve recovery for athletes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613104418.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, June 13). After an ACL tear: Research opens door to new treatments to improve recovery for athletes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613104418.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "After an ACL tear: Research opens door to new treatments to improve recovery for athletes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613104418.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
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