From regeneration to prevention - a forum for interdisciplinary prevention strategies
On 30 June and 1 July 2011, the international symposium "Science based Prevention" took place as part of the opening of the Sports Research Hall at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Under the title "From regeneration to prevention - a forum for interdisciplinary prevention strategies", the Center for Sports Science and Sports Medicine Berlin and the Julius Wolff Institute hosted a meeting of renowned top researchers from all over the world on the topic of prevention using the musculoskeletal system as an example.
The 150 participants included scientists from the fields of medicine, biomechanics, biology, engineering and sports science as well as industry representatives from the fields of medical technology, sports and sports science. For one and a half days, they discussed new approaches for the healing, recognition and prevention of injuries to the musculoskeletal system. In addition, new approaches and prevention concepts were presented by renowned international scientists, including Tom Andriacchi, Vasilios Baltzopoulos, Dieter Felsenberg, Daniel Liebermann, Benno Nigg, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Gustav Steinhoff, Leia Stirling and Anthony D. Woolf.
In addition to current developments in the field of regeneration, the evaluation and validation of prevention was discussed intensively: Can the effectiveness of prevention measures be proven at all? This question was actively discussed by many scientists. Prof. Daniel Lieberman from Harvard University presented a positive example for the effective proof of prevention. He examined running techniques and injuries over many years and came to the conclusion that running on the forefoot causes fewer running injuries than running on the heel. This result may be due, among other things, to less stress caused by a smoother rolling of the foot. Lieberman is convinced that the individual running technique is a habit that every runner can change afterwards.
Dr. Leia Stirling from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University made a further contribution. She presented new approaches according to which arbitrary or stochastic stress is applied to the soles of special shoes. With this approach, the mechanisms of sensory feedback could be improved, which could lead to the avoidance of falls, especially in older people. However, in order to better understand the effects of new prevention approaches, it is important to precisely identify the different and individual effects of each individual patient. To this end, Prof. Benno Nigg from the University of Calgary presented methods for evaluating different stress measurements and their combinations with each other, thereby better predicting the effectiveness and effectiveness of measures as well as the expected outcome in the patient.
However, the scientists at the symposium agreed: Although the cellular processes during regeneration can currently be traced and understood, research is still a long way from influencing cellular processes in the course of a preventive measure. The chairman of the symposium and director of the Julius Wolff Institute, Prof. Georg Duda, considers further steps to be necessary: "In order to be able to develop effective preventive measures, we must first understand how regeneration works. From this, we can then identify specific preventive effects and derive concrete measures".
In recent years, research has been able to identify successful measures and means that lead to rapid and effective regeneration of injuries. Scientists and researchers therefore agree that the early detection of diseases and injuries must be further promoted in order to have a mechanical and pharmacological effect on them: Fall prophylaxis programmes have been developed to prevent falls and therapies to build up certain muscle groups have been designed to compensate for and permanently prevent overloading.
The early identification of degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis is therefore currently the focus of many research groups in order to react with existing strategies and to stop or slow down diseases at an early stage.
At the same time, there has been a change in thinking among scientists: most people believe that the development of prevention strategies and measures will be an important part of health research in the future.
Julius Wolff Institute
Phone: +49 30 450 559 048
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