Clinical Program / Research Highlights from Upcoming 2019 ACSM Annual Meeting

The diverse clinical programming at ACSM's Annual Meeting–which kicks off May 28 in Orlando, Florida–includes more than 100 talks on clinically based topics, innovative hands-on workshops and case presentations spanning a wide range of diagnoses. Here is a selection of the programming/research that will be presented. View the Clinical Program Guide or the ACSM Annual Meeting Advance Program for the full schedule. Contact Lisa Ramage to learn more about these topics or to interview the researchers.

The Tortuous Path of Lactate Shuttle Discovery: From Cinders and Boards to the Lab and ICUOnce thought to be a waste product of anaerobic metabolism, lactate is now known to form continuously under aerobic conditions. Shuttling between producer and consumer cells fulfills at least three purposes for lactate: 1) a major energy source, 2) the major gluconeogenic precursor and 3) a signaling molecule. With Lactate Shuttle theory in mind, lactate is used for sports nutrition and hydration, resuscitation from acidosis and Dengue, treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury, maintenance of glycemia, reduction of inflammation, cardiac support following MI and in heart failure, and to improve cognition. Yet, when dysregulated lactate shuttling disrupts metabolic flexibility, and worse supports, oncogenesis. Lactate production in cancer (the Warburg Effect) is involved in all main sequela for carcinogenesis: angiogenesis, immune escape, cell migration, metastasis and self-sufficient metabolism. 

Sports Docs Without Borders: Lessons Learned from Implementing Change in the International Fields of Play. Working with athletes in your own region and country is a rewarding experience. Traveling with your athletes to support them internationally is a career highlight and a privilege. However, there can be medical and political challenges that are inherent in different sport, societal and medical cultures. To be on top of your game, and to ensure success of your athletes, are you prepared for the different rules of the international sport medicine game? 

Weight Loss and Exercise as Breast Cancer Treatment: Could the Treadmill Ever Replace Taxol? Obesity and inactivity have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and related mortality in women with early-stage, potentially curable, malignancy. Less is known about the impact of weight loss and exercise interventions after cancer diagnosis on cancer-related outcomes. 

Prehabilitation for Abdominal and Thoracic Surgery: Ready for Prime Time? The goal of surgery is to cure or palliate disease, but surgery itself is a major metabolic stress with short-term and long-term consequences. Efforts to support recovery currently focus on the postoperative period (“rehabilitation”), but deconditioning related to the metabolic stress of surgery and hospitalization may have already initiated a downward spiral, further contributing to complications and disability. Preoperative physical fitness, physical activity and nutritional status are predictors of surgical complications and prolonged disability. “Prehabilitation” aims to enhance functional capacity in the preoperative period in anticipation of the upcoming stress of surgery.  

Evidence-Based Consensus Recommendations Regarding Selected Issues in Youth Contact and Collision Sports. Concussion in youth contact and collision sports is a topic of great interest and concern, yet a comprehensive evidence-based assessment of many key questions has not been undertaken. A group of international experts reviewed topics— including risk, the role of modification of sports rules, the value of protective equipment, the understanding of associations between concussions incurred during youth participation and long-term cognitive and neurological harm, and the evidence of benefits to youth of regular physical activity—and provide recommendations on the assessment and management of sport-related concussions for young athletes.

Under the SEA: The Benefits of Water Immersion and Aquatic Exercise: A Rising Tide of Evidence. ACSM established a presidential task force to globally promote safe and effective use of the aquatic environment (SEA) for exercise, rehabilitation and recreation. This session will promote the benefits of aquatic exercise with a broad understanding of the current, state-of-the-art evidence supporting the risk reduction association with cardiovascular disease, aerobic capacity, enhanced neurocognitive function, improved memory, increased concentration and injury prevention/treatment in populations ranging from aging and those with chronic disease to athletes and military recruits suffering from neurocognitive impairment and/or injury treatment / prevention.

Concussion: The Gender Divide Among Youth. Concussion diagnosis and treatment has become prominent within the sports medicine arena throughout the past decade. While much attention has been placed on male-dominated sports, female athletes are diagnosed at an alarming rate. Current evidence indicates that female athletes are more susceptible to concussive injuries and may have more severe courses of injury. This presentation will focus on female athletes (10-17 years) during the first four weeks following an initial concussion. Clinicians/academics will discuss various diagnostic measures and rehabilitation interventions for the athletes following a concussion.

Post-Competitive Athlete Health. The long-term health of an athlete ideally begins during their competitive athletic years. However, there is little guidance regarding post-competitive athlete care and assisting the professional or elite athlete transition to a focus on long-term health and wellness. Retired professional athletes present unique risks for cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders and mental health concerns. This symposium examines post-competitive athlete health guided by long-time team physicians from the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Transgender Athlete: Care and Controversies. More than 1.4 million transgender adults live in the United States. Transgender individuals undergo gender-affirming treatments including sex hormone inhibition and replacement and gender-affirming surgery. Increasing numbers of trans people are participating in sports and presenting to sports medicine clinics with injuries, yet there is little research about this athlete population. This lecture will discuss the hormonal transition process and the unique musculoskeletal injuries within this population.

Athletic Hearts: A Comparative Perspective. Cardiac remodeling and the athlete’s heart is a common theme of discussion; however, little consideration has been given to cardiac remodeling in other athletic species. In this session, international colleagues will specifically discuss what is known about cardiac remodeling in other athletic species and importantly what we might be able to learn from these animals in relation to overall cardiac structure, function and plasticity in the human heart.

Exercise in the Prevention and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders: Translating Research into Real-World Settings. Substantial evidence supports the use of exercise in the prevention and treatment of many mental health disorders. Despite this evidence, exercise is rarely used. This tutorial will share community engagement strategies and provide examples of recent efforts to translate research findings into a variety of real-world settings (primary care clinics, schools, parks and refugee camps).


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About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. Find details at