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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meet Team CMT Member Dr. Robert Chetlin

You might not ever see Dr. Chetlin wearing a Team CMT singlet in a race, but he is one of the most important members of our team.

Dr. Chetlin is an Exercise Physiologist on the Occupational Therapy faculty of the West Virginia School of Medicine. (WVU) He teaches Clinical Anatomy, Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology to the first-year OT students. Dr. Chetlin earned both his Masters and PhD degrees in Exercise Physiology from the WVU School of Medicine. He is a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds professional accreditation as a Health and Fitness Instructor (HFI) through ACSM, and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through NSCA. Dr. Chetlin is also a reviewer for scientific journals including Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and Strength and Conditioning Journal. His funded research interests involve examining the effects of nutritional supplementation and exercise training in patients with a variety of neuromuscular diseases. He has published his work in several peer-reviewed research journals. In 2004, Dr. Chetlin was recognized for his contribution to improving the lives of patients with peripheral neuropathy, when he received The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Foundation Award for Distinguished Service.
Dr Robert Chetlin, PhD, CSCS, HFI, has co-authored two articles that were published in the Stength and Conditioning Journal. The two articles focused on the current issues with elite athletes, and Anabolic - androgenic steroids. A third article co-authored with Smith, Gutman, Yeater, and Alway addressed the effects of exercise and creatine on myosin heavy chain isoform compostiion in the vastus lateralis muscle of patients with CMT. Dr. Chetlin also severs as an advisor to the National CMT Resource Center. Dr. Chetlin was recognized for his contribution to improving the lives of patients with peripheral neuropathy, when he received The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Foundation Award for Distinguished Service. Dr. Chetlin is also the exercise advisor to Team CMT members Joyce Kelly, Richard Cook and Chris Wodke.
Dr. Chetlin has advised me on my training plan for Boston
Dr. Chetlin next research project will study the adaptive effects of exercise on transgenic rats . Transgenic rats are those that have been genetically modified to have CMT1A, the most common form of CMT. The rats will be regularly exercised on a specialized training device called a dynamometer. In conjunction with Dr. Brent Baker of the Centers for Disease Control – National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC-NIOSH), Dr. Chetlin will analyze performance and clinical imagery (i.e. ultrasound) to see if these animals respond positively to the exercise stimulus. In addition, Dr. Chetlin and Dr. Baker will examine the proteins, genes, and other biomarkers of muscle and myelin (the fatty nerve covering affected in CMT) to determine, at the cellular level, the extent to which exercise produces positive changes. This information may eventually prove useful in determining how much exercise might benefit those persons with CMT who are still capable of exercising, as well as how hard patients should exercise, and eventually whether other interventions such as certain drugs may make exercise even more effective.

This project is a partnership among several institutions. This is a multi-disciplinary, multi-centered study which includes basic and clinical researchers from the West Virginia University School of Medicine, The West Virginia University Animal Models and Imaging Facility, the CDC-NIOSH, and the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany. This kind of broad, multi-disciplinary team is essential to obtaining an appropriate level of funding so this research can continue and build on positive results that are discovered. HNF is thrilled to be a part of this collaboration for it holds the potential to create real change for those living with CMT. The next step in this project is even more exciting. After the animal study is complete, the research will begin studying the effect of exercise on athletes with CMT. Team CMT athletes will particpate in this study.
To learn more about exercise and CMT

Chris Wodke

Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

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