The article “The genetics of sports injuries and athletic performance” was originally synthesized for the purpose of identifying genetic components related to the susceptibility of tendon injuries and enhanced athletic performance. Researchers used PubMed in their evidence collection by searching key terms such as “sports injuries”, “athletic performance”, and “genetics.” It’s no secret in today’s modern age that genetics determines the response of an individual to the surrounding environment. Given genetics are associated with contributing to the athletic performance or onset of musculoskeletal injuries, particularly tendon and ligament issues. The genes currently identified with these areas of musculoskeletal injury or athletic performance include gene encoding for collagen, matrix metallopeptidase, tenascin, and growth factors. In conclusion, the favorable or unfavorable genotype alone is not always enough to dissuade a potential champion nor create one. It must be emphasized that consistent, intensive training is necessary for the genotype expression to be utilized completely.

            Naturally, the weaknesses that the review article holds are that it was only using searches within PubMed with given key words. Although the articles used were likely peer-reviewed and credible, using the articles dating back as far as the 1990’s could have damaged credibility. This is, of course, unless the evidence found in the 1990’s was then built upon and backed by more recent articles supporting the original evidence. The article didn’t clarify whether this was the case beyond a few more recent referenced articles being closer in proximity to the current date than the previously referenced articles. Although the article itself didn’t make any major claims beyond the published research, this is both a strength and weakness. The article almost feels pre-mature since it does not account very much that hasn’t been understood, yet it doesn’t make wild claims about what could be or follow any tangents towards where the future of genetic testing could lead. This is refreshing since the future of genetic testing is unclear and its implications and usefulness is not fully understood.

            The application, in the future, for genetic identification of given genes that lend to musculoskeletal injury susceptibility or enhanced athletic performance and adaptation is the removal, delay, or decline of certain injuries. Coupled alongside would be the increase of training programs individualized for certain athletes to either delay or eliminate injuries based on predisposed susceptibility to them, or training programs that counter and enhance adaptation through marked pathways which the athlete is most prone to benefit from. By identifying the way, the athlete is most likely to respond favorably, the athlete can train in this manner to combat the genetic predisposition to injury as well. Enhancing the movement patterns, loading strategies, and countering overuse injuries would become possible based not only on frequency, intensity, time, and type variables but underlying genetic make up.

            Although genetic components likely influence the degree to which training adaptation occurs, there is no doubt that the mechanisms that allow training adaptation are likely universal. For example, stress proteins and other protein types respond to the stimulus of exercise stress to initiate adaptation. Although the degree of adaptation is individual, the process of adaptation is the same. Therefore, the genetic component of adaptation will likely make the guessing game of whether one person has the potential capability to adapt effectively much easier than having to train to provide the stimulus and thus finding out over time. I believe that signal transduction and the current topics of the class at this time are not particularly relevant but provide a thorough understanding to provide the reader with valuable understanding beforehand. Using this knowledge, it becomes possible to understand how close we are to revolutionizing the fitness industry and the sports world.

Genetics & Ageing

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