Another page is about to turn

I am in front of my computer this morning getting ready to submit another paper. Although I find the submission process unpleasant sometimes, I still remain excited every time I am about to submit the fruit of our work out there !

Today, this submission represents the second round for the last “first author” paper related to my postdoc work.  I am feeling weird about it… I had a lot of fun, over the last couple of years, with our discussions about how to write the best possible paper for each study I was involved in during that postdoc. Another page is about to turn…

How did you feel after having submitted the final paper related to your postdoc? Excited? Sad? Scared?

Links of interest (October 23-30, 2011)

One day per week, I will post links of research articles and stories related to cerebrovascular physiology, exercise physiology and more general information related to the research world. Enjoy!

Have a nice weekend !


Letter to the editor/ecomment vs. blog post – Follow up

Following my post of last week regarding the best way of discussing or commenting the results of a published paper, now that we have access to blogs, twitter or facebook, I made my decision. I will start by the more traditional route, that is the letter to the editor. I am saying traditional route, but in that case, this will be an ecomment. This comment, which needs to be appropriate and to contribute to the article content (dah !), will be published on the journal’s website within a couple of days after the original submision. Hopefully, this electronic way will be more interactive than the traditional letter to the editor usually published 2 months after submission!

Maybe it could then be fun to continue the discussion here since only 500 words are allowed in that comment…


Letter to the editor/ecomment vs. blog post

Two week ago, I came across an interesting paper related to my area of research. Although I find the results interesting, some important issues have not been covered and I consider that a letter to the editor/ecomment is necessary.

However, I have a question for you dear readers. Now that we have numerous possibilities for discussing new research with twitter/facebook/blog, what is the best way to discuss/comment the results of this paper? Should I first submit a letter/ecomment and then publish a blog post ? Should I first blog about it and then submit the letter/ecomment? Are there any unwritten rules that I am unaware of ? What is the value of a letter/ecomment in our publications list?

Any thoughts?

Science marathon

Last week, it was a great week of science. From Sunday to Saturday, I had over 70 hours of science discussions. It started at the International Graduate Course in Clinical & Exercise Physiology where I was invited as a Chair for one of the talks. This intensive course was a great opportunity to exchange with international students and speakers. I also had the occasion to discuss with colleagues about possible collaborations…and to have dinner with Bengt Saltin !!!! Lucky me !!!

Then, I attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology in Quebec city. My colleague Denis Joanisse worked pretty hard to offer such an interesting list of symposia with great speakers ! Grad students presenting posters and free communications were also amazing !

I had the chance to be involved in one symposium entitled: Effects of diabetes on physiological exercise responses and aerobic capacity. With this symposium, we wanted to present interesting data in regards to the influence of diabetes on exercise responses beyond glycemic control.

Following a brief introduction from Chris Baldi, his grad student Michelle Lee presented cool data on pulmonary diffusion limitation during exercise in these patients. Then, her colleague Silmara Gusso from New Zealand, presented here PhD work on the impact of exercise training on cardiac function in young patients with diabetes. I then had the opportunity to present an overview of the impact of diabetes on cerebrovascular physiology and to present unpublished data from an exercise study we did in Copenhagen during my postdoc. Finally, Kristen Nadeau talked about the importance of insulin sensitivity on cardiovascular exercise performance in patients with diabetes.

Now I am exhausted ! But I have millions of ideas !

Should we take cerebral perfusion into consideration when treating hypertensive diabetics?

A tight blood pressure control is known to have beneficial impacts in patients with diabetes and hypertension. In patients with moderate hypertension, an antihypertensive treatment does not seem to have a negative influence on brain blood flow. Indeed, the cerebrovascular autoregulatory capacity (CA) of these patients remains intact notwithstanding a chronic elevation in blood pressure. So, cerebral vasculature of patients with moderate hypertension has the capacity to protect the brain from changes in blood pressure (an elevation in blood pressure could be associated with brain hyperperfusion if CA is altered and conversely, a reduction in blood pressure induced by antihypertenisve treatment, for example, could be associated with brain hypoperfusion if CA is impaired). Of interest, CA is affected in patients with severe hypertension, which leads to a reduction in brain blood flow with antihypertensive treatment.

Patients with diabetes have an impaired CA and the impact of an intensive control of blood pressure on cerebral perfusion in these patients was unknown…until a couple of months ago. In a study published recently *, researchers tested the hypothesis that intensive blood pressure control over a 6-month period has a negative influence on brain perfusion in hypertensive patients with diabetes and microvascular complications (microalbuminuria, retinopathy and/or sensorimotor neuropathy).

Patients with diabetes and microvascular complications were compared to patients with diabetes without microvascular complications and hypertensive patients paired for age, sex and ethnicity. Following baseline measurements, hypertension was treated using ACEi and diuretic or calcium channel blocking agent if targeted blood pressure was not reached with ACEi. The antihypertensive treatment lasted a period of 6 months and the targeted blood pressure was <130/80 mmHg for patients with diabetes and <140/90 mmHg for patients with hypertension. Cerebrovascular and cardiovascular responses were then evaluated after the treatment.

The authors reported that for a similar reduction in blood pressure in the 3 groups of patients following that 6-month antihypertensive treatment, cerebral perfusion (Vmean) was lower in diabetics with (black circle) vs. without microvascular complications (gray circle) and hypertensive patients (white circle). They also found that the degree of CA impairment observed in diabetics seemed associated with the presence of microvascular complications.

According to the authors, the reduction in cerebral perfusion in patients with diabetes and microvascular complications observed in response to this antihypertensive treatment could be partly explained by the jeopardized capacity of the cerebral vasculature of these patients to efficiently dampen sudden changes in blood pressure. The authors also suggest that for patients with vascular complications, blood pressure treatment should be individualized, aiming at obtaining a balance between the reduction in blood pressure and maintenance of cerebral perfusion. In fact, we should target an optimal blood pressure instead of the lowest possible blood pressure especially in diabetic patients with vascular complications.

Should we take cerebral perfusion into consideration when treating hypertensive diabetics ? I think so !

* Kim YS, Davis SC, Truijen J, Stok WJ, Secher NH, van Lieshout JJ. Intensive blood pressure control affects cerebral blood flow in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Hypertension 57(4):738-45, 2011

What a relief !!

Dear readers, after an intense period of work on my first operating grant application for CIHR and my first Research Scholar Junior 1 application for FRSQ, I can start breathing again ! Indeed, I have officially (like 10 minutes ago!) submitted my Junior 1 to FRSQ !!! What a relief! As I was writing in my last related post, that was a great experience and hopefully I will have a decent score.

For those completing their own applications, I have a thought for you !!! Keep up the good work !