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Thermal Extremes Research

Overview

Often uniformed personnel and athletes must work, train and compete under extremes of environmental temperature. Prof Walsh and Dr Oliver have conducted a series of studies investigating the effect of hot and cold stresses on exercise performance, thermoregulation and immune status. These have involved working with the Army as well as commercial partners like Blizzard Protection Limited.

Prof Walsh has shown that skin temperature can be assessed using portable telemetry iButtons. This means skin temperature can be measured at many sites on the body without the complication of thermistor wires that hinder participants’ movements. In another investigation Prof Walsh’s group also showed exposure to extreme cold can significantly affect the immune system, which may lead to increased infection risk.

Most recently Dr Fortes with Dr Macdonald and Prof Walsh have shown that exercise induced muscle damage is a likely risk factor for exertional heat illness, and its associated complications including acute kidney injury.

Selected Publications (click on titles below to read the study summary):

Oliver SJ, Brierley JL, Raymond- Barker PC, Dolci A. and Walsh NP. (2016) Portable Prehospital Methods to Treat Near-Hypothermic Shivering Cold Casualties, 27 (1) 125-130

Zurawlew, MJ, Walsh NP, Fortes MB, and Potter C, (2015) Post-exercise hot water induces heat acclimation and improves endurance exercise performance in the heat. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports DOI: 10.1111/sms.12638

Junglee NA, Di Felice U, Dolci A, Fortes MB, Jibani MM, Lemmey AB, Walsh NP, and Macdonald JH (2013). Exercising in a hot environment with muscle damage: effects on acute kidney injury biomarkers and kidney function. American Journal of Physiology. Renal Physiology, 305, 813-820.

Fortes MB, Di Felice U, Dolci A, Junglee NA, Crockford MJ, West L, Hillier-Smith R, Macdonald JH, and Walsh NP (2013). Muscle damaging exercise increase heat strain during subsequent exercise heat stress. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 45, 1915-1924.

Harper Smith A, Crabtree D, Bilzon JLJ, and Walsh NP (2010). The validity of wireless ibuttons and thermistors for human skin temperature measurement. Physiological Measurement, 31, 95-114.

Laing SJ, Jackson A, Walters R, Whitham M, and Walsh NP (2008). Neutrophil degranulation response to prolonged exercise performed with and without a thermal clamp. Journal of Applied Physiology, 104, 20-26.

Whitham M, Laing SJ, Jackson A, and Walsh NP (2007). Plasma HSP70 response to prolonged exercise performed with and without a thermal clamp. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103, 1251-1256.

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