Exercise Science professor’s research on muscle weakness and Down syndrome promoted by American Physiological Society

The American Physiological Society (APS) has issued a press release promoting the laboratory research of School of Education Exercise Science Associate Professor Keith DeRuisseau. DeRuisseau and Patrick Cowley, Ph.D., the lead researcher on the project, recently had an article published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, offering new insights into the role of muscle weakness in Down syndrome.

“The APS selects only a handful of articles for press releases each year,” says DeRuisseau, “We’re so pleased our paper was selected.”

The article, Functional and Biochemical Characterization of the Soleus Muscle in Down Syndrome Mice: Insight into the Muscle Dysfunction Seen in the Human Condition, investigates moderate to severe muscle weakness that people with Down syndrome can experience, using a mice model.

“Surprisingly, we found that the strength of the muscle itself was the same between the Down syndrome and control mice—suggesting that factors in the nervous system may play a more dominant role in explaining muscle weakness in DS,” said Cowley. This study shows the importance of better understanding muscle weakness in Down syndrome.