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MUST Research Project Sport & Health Imaging Research

New: Check «  Scientific Results » page, where peer-reviewed results of the MUST Study are going to be posted… More to come!
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During ultra-trail, the body is pushed at its limits. This sport allows therefore to better understand phenomenons that, from an ethical stand point, would be impossible to test in laboratory.
Grégoire MILLET, Le Monde Science et Techno; from "Courir plus longtemps fatigue moins", by V.Thivent; 01.07.2013
The goal of the MUST project is to better understand the impact of ultra-endurance running on skeletal and cardiac muscle.
The scientific study took place during
the most extreme mountain ultra-marathon of the world : 330 km, 24.000 m D+ (3 times the Everest), organized September 7-14 2014, in Aosta Valley, (Italy): Le Tor des Géants.

A "
unique, exceptional and extreme race" such as the Tor des Geants can only deserves "exceptional technological and sophisticated means": this study involved a mobile MRI unit as well as a last generation ultrasound system installed on site in Courmayeur, equipped with dedicated MRI solutions as well as the most advanced state-of-the-art research tools.

This study is the first to study, before, during, and after the race, the major inflammatory response of both cardiac and muscles in such extreme conditions for the body, that closely match those met in patients in intensive care unit (ICU), after polytrauma, and/or myocardial infarction.

The MUST international project federates together MR imaging researchers (
CREATIS Research Lab.), as well as exercise physiology, anesthesia and resuscitation researchers of the Rhône-Alpes area (France), Switzerland, Canada, Italy, and Belgium. This study will help to improve our understanding on very intense inflammatory response occurring during ultra-endurance exercise, its recovery mechanisms, and will ultimately help medical community to apply the expected additional knowledge to severe medical conditions in patients that are known to be similar by many aspects.

This project was supported by the
Club des Cardiologues du Sport (CCS), by the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the IHU OPERA, institute dedicated to organ protection and replacement. The thematic of the MUST project, being in perfect synergy with these institutes, is hence legitimized by major public health issues and is expected to have a high societal impact.
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The presence of key imaging researchers from the Rhone-Alpes area in collaboration with international leaders warrants the scientific and clinical outcome of this very innovative project
Dominique PELLA, Délégué régional Rhône-Alpes INSERM