Dr. Greg Wells, Associate Scientist, Physiology & Experimental Medicine, gives his perspective on how understanding the bodies of Olympians can shed light on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses in kids.
Hi i'm Dr. Greg Wells and this is my Perspective. Here at The Hospital for Sick Children we have the exercise medicine research program. Now the cool thing about that is actually emerged out of research that we were doing on high-performance athletes some of whom were actually Olympians. What we are doing is we are looking at how swimmers adapted how swim training affects the lungs. We use that information to help us understand how the lungs of children with cystic fibrosis are affected and a type of exercise that we can use to help those children combat their disease. That's expanded now into an entire program that we're calling exercise medicine that we use to prevent, diagnose and treat chronic illnesses in kids across a variety of conditions including congenital heart disease, cancer, obesity and obviously at where we started out; cystic fibrosis. It's an incredible program, we're really excited about it and it's great to be able to make the connection between high-performance sports like the Olympic Games and what kids do on an everyday basis to stay as healthy as they can despite what they're faced with.