News & Events

The Latest News and Events in the School of Health Sciences

Exercise Science Professor Dr. Bryce Muth Co-Authors Publication

Congratulations go to Dr. Bryce Muth as he recently co-authored a publication. Individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) often exhibit a reduced exercise capacity that impacts their quality of life. Dietary nitrate supplementation has been shown to have favorable effects on exercise capacity in other disease populations. This randomized, double-blind crossover study investigated the impact of acute dietary nitrate supplementation on exercise capacity in CKD patients. 

Stage 3-4 CKD patients consumed concentrated beetroot juice or a nitrate depleted placebo in liquid form prior to testing. Participants then performed a cardiopulmonary exercise test to exhaustion to assess various measures of exercise capacity. Measurements of skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative function were also assessed through near-infrared spectroscopy. Findings from the study revealed improvements in total exercise time, oxygen consumption at the ventilatory threshold, and total work performed following acute nitrate supplementation. However, no improvements were seen in mitochondrial oxidative function or peak oxygen consumption. Overall, this study found that acute nitrate supplementation improved measures of exercise capacity in stage 3–4 CKD patients. These improvements may be clinically important as they may improve the ability of CKD patients to complete activities of daily living and delay the onset of fatigue. Click below for full article. 

Ramick, M. G., Kirkman, D. L., Stock, J. M., Muth, B. J., Farquhar, W. B., Chirinos, J. A., Doulias, P. T., Ischiropoulos, H., & Edwards, D. G. (2020). The effect of dietary nitrate on exercise capacity in chronic kidney disease: a randomized controlled pilot study. Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry, 106, 17–23. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.niox.2020.10.002.

 

 Dr Bryce Muth

Dr. Kelly Dougherty

Galloway, N.J. Kelly Dougherty, associate professor of Exercise Science, along with collaborators from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania and Sapienza University in Italy, recently published a manuscript, “Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Health-Related Quality of Life and Physical Performance in Children with Sickle Cell Disease and in Healthy Children.” The article was published in the renowned Journal of Pediatric Health Care in June 2020, shining light on some very important findings.

A dose of Vitamin D

This research was born from a study they conducted in 2011 which showed that maximum muscle strength and peak power were lower in children with sickle cell disease compared to their healthy counterparts.

 “Based upon these results, we started to think about possible interventions to try to reverse these deficits. Individuals with sickle cell disease suffer from periodic ‘painful crises,’ and dehydration is one predisposing factor, which is why you may or may not be able to recommend exercise for children with sickle cell disease to reverse these deficits,” Dougherty said. 

“We began to investigate treating these deficits with Vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D receptors have been found on muscle, and in other populations Vitamin D supplementation resulted in an increase in muscle strength,” Dougherty continued. “Additionally, previous studies showed that suboptimal Vitamin D status is prevalent in those with sickle cell disease. We wondered if something as readily available and relatively inexpensive as Vitamin D could reverse these deficits in muscle strength and peak power?”

The next step was conducting a dose-finding study to determine what dose would achieve optimal Vitamin D status in those with sickle cell disease. The group assessed the safety and efficacy of two oral daily doses (4,000 vs. 7,000 IU) of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) over a 12-week period in children and young adults with sickle cell disease and healthy controls. 

 

“We began to investigate treating these deficits with Vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D receptors have been found on muscle, and in other populations Vitamin D supplementation resulted in an increase in muscle strength,” Dougherty continued. “Additionally, previous studies showed that suboptimal Vitamin D status is prevalent in those with sickle cell disease. We wondered if something as readily available and relatively inexpensive as Vitamin D could reverse these deficits in muscle strength and peak power?”

The next step was conducting a dose-finding study to determine what dose would achieve optimal Vitamin D status in those with sickle cell disease. The group assessed the safety and efficacy of two oral daily doses (4,000 vs. 7,000 IU) of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) over a 12-week period in children and young adults with sickle cell disease and healthy controls. 

Results shine light 

Results showed that daily oral high-dose D3 supplementation of 4,000 and 7,000 IU was safe and well-tolerated. In both children and young adults with sickle cell disease and controls by 12 weeks, both doses significantly increased Vitamin D status; however, deficient (<20 ng/mL) Vitamin D status was eliminated only in those receiving 7000 IU/d,” Dougherty said. “We also found improvements in hematology and inflammatory status with Vitamin D supplementation in those with sickle cell disease. As part of the dose-finding study, we also assessed health-related quality of life, neuromuscular skills and muscle strength and function, which is the focus of the latest publication.”

The present study published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care revealed that Vitamin D supplementation for African American children with and without sickle cell disease improved health-related quality of life and physical performance. Specifically, in subjects with sickle cell disease, significant reductions in pain, fatigue and depressive symptoms and improved upper-extremity function were observed with Vitamin D supplementation.

“Vitamin D supplementation may prove to be an effective and feasible treatment for symptoms and prevention of complications for people of all ages living with sickle cell disease in the United States and around the world,” she said. “Considering that in this study cohort, only the 7,000 IU/day dose effectively treated deficiency (25(OH)D of < 20 ng/mL) in both those with sickle cell disease and healthy participants, our next step will be to conduct the full-scale randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials to test the impact of higher Vitamin D doses on health-related quality of life and physical performance in children and young adults with sickle cell disease and their healthy counterparts.”

When asked about the significance of The Journal of Pediatric Health Care publishing the recent article, Dougherty commented, “We wanted the results of this study to reach clinicians treating individuals with sickle cell disease. As a result of this series of studies, clinicians at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have begun prescribing Vitamin D supplementation for children with sickle cell disease.”

Reported by Mandee McCullough

Clinical Education Event 2020

On Friday, February 21, 2020, the School of Health Sciences held its sixth annual Clinical Educator Workshop titled "The Wonderland of Clinical Education", with a theme of Alice in Wonderland. The interprofessional event hosted sixty-five  clinicians from the fields of speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing. The workshop’s presentations, delivered by Stockton faculty, were specifically designed to enhance the attendees’ clinical supervisory skills and facilitate student learning in their respective practice environments. Topics of discussion included recognizing life roles and their impact on clinical supervision, facilitating critical thinking and reflection in students, providing feedback, understanding of learning styles, and navigating difficult conversations. Presentations were given by Mark Adelung, Assistant Professor or Nursing; Amanda Copes, Director of the Speech and Hearing Clinic; Matthew Romen, PT Academic Fieldwork Coordinator; and MaryAnn Schiattarella, Communication Disorders Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. 

Faculty Photo

SOPHE 2019

Students Learn About Climate Change at Public Health Program 

Dr. Laura Taylor, New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service-Infectious & Zoonotic Disease Program and Adjunct Faculty and Dr. Tara Crowell, Professor of Public Health, along with 20 Stockton Public Health students attend NJ SOPHE 2019 Annual Program, on December 6, 2019. The Public Health Program provided program funds to register students to attend this event entitled Climate Change: This Real News, The Fake News, and What Can be Done About It. This one-day program included speakers from Faculty and Administrators from Rutgers Climate Institution, Rutgers Environmental Analysis and Communication Group, Rutgers Environmental Science Department, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, TCNJ Sustainable Institute, and the Chairman and Representative to the United Nations, Stakeholder for a Sustainable Future.  Students that attended are currently enrolled in the Public Health & Marketing course. This event provided them the opportunity not only to broaden their knowledge regarding climate change, but to gain a better understanding of the depth and breadth of the public health discipline. This event also showcased local research studies and offered opportunities for professional networking.