Performance, Aging & Genetics Research Group

Performance, Aging & Genetics Research Group

The Performance, Aging and Genetics research group studies the role of genetic factors in older adult mobility and balance performance. Recent scientific advances afford unprecedented opportunities to identify genetic factors in the form of variants in specific genes/biomarkers, which may be associated with deficits in physical performance measures and disability in older adults.  An objective of our work is to elucidate associations between genetic variants and older adult mobility/balance performance. Another objective is to examine relationships among physical performance, strength and health-related measures to determine whether such relationships vary among genotypes.

Current Research

Study title: Physical performance, health-related measures andgenetic factors in older adults

Approved by IRBMED (HUM00156799)

Genetic factors and biomarkers play a role in physical performance. Our group has recently shown that ACE [angiotensin-converting enzyme] genotype interacts with lower extremity strength in relation to physical performance, suggesting that relationships between lower extremity strength and physical performance vary among ACE genotype subgroups. In this present study we will build on our previous study as well as studies of others, to explore additional variables (e.g. pain; balance confidence and other variables) with which genes (such as ACE and others) interact in relation to physical performance. Genes we will initially study include ACE and ACTN (alpha-actinin). We will explore additional genes if our review of the biomedical literature indicates a possible link to physical performance or exercise capabilities.

Members

The research group was formed by Allon Goldberg PT, PhD, Professor of Physical Therapy and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health Sciences and Joseph F. Sucic PhD, Professor of Biology in 2016. Students have been actively involved in the research conducted by the group over the past four years.

Faculty members

  • Allon Goldberg PT PhD (team leader)
  • Joseph F. Sucic PhD (co-team leader)
  • Susan Ann Talley PT, DPT, PhD (co-investigator)

Student

  • Kurt Shuler (graduated 2017—MS Biology)

Recent Publications & Abstracts

Angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism, lower extremity strength, and physical performance in older adults. Shuler K, Sucic JF, Talley SA, Goldberg A. Physical Therapy. 2019; 99(8): 998-1009.

Associations between lower extremity strength and physical performance in community-dwelling older adults: differences among ACE genotype subgroups. Goldberg A, Shuler K, Sucic J.F., Talley S.A. Poster abstract at website of Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Vol. 41: E19-E66; 2018. Abstracts of the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Stepping Performance in Older Adults: Association with the ACE Gene Insertion/Deletion Polymorphism. Shuler K, Sucic JF, Talley SA, Goldberg A. Poster abstract at Innovation in Aging, 2017, Vol. 1, No. S1. P182-183. Abstracts of the 21st International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics conference.

Translating genomic advances to physical therapist practice: a closer look at the nature and nurture of common diseases. Curtis CL, Goldberg A, Kleim JA, Wolf SL. Physical Therapy (Regenerative Rehabilitation and Genomics Special Series). 2016; 96(4): 570-580.

Linking genes to neurological clinical practice: the genomic basis for neurorehabilitation. Goldberg A, Curtis CL, Kleim JA. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (Special Issue: Advancing Technological Interfaces with Neurologic Physical Therapy). 2015. 39(1): 52-61.

Presentations

  • Associations between lower extremity strength and physical performance in community-dwelling older adults: differences among ACE genotype subgroups. Goldberg A, Shuler K, Sucic J.F., Talley S.A. Poster presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, New Orleans, LA (February 2018).
  • Stepping Performance in Older Adults: Association with the ACE Gene Insertion/Deletion Polymorphism. Shuler K, Sucic JF, Talley SA, Goldberg A. Poster presentation at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics conference, San Francisco, CA (July 2017).
  • The ACE gene polymorphism affects grip strength correlations with balance and walking speed in older adults. Shuler K, Goldberg A, Sucic J, Talley SA. Platform presentation at the Annual Conference of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI (March 2017).
  • The ACE Gene Polymorphism is associated with step execution time differences in older adults. A. Goldberg, K. Shuler, J.F. Sucic, S.A. Talley. Poster presentation at the 69th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, New Orleans, LA (November 2016).
  • Relationships between Usual Gait Speed and Physical Performance Measures in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Role of ACE Genotypes. Goldberg A,Talley SA. Poster presentation at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, Anaheim, CA (February 2016).