New way to diagnose overtraining syndrome

Jul 20, 2009
By staff
Utrecht, Netherlands -- Researchers at the University of Utrecht report success in diagnosing equine overtraining syndrome by measuring nocturnal growth hormone secretion, a finding they say offers the prospect of an improved treatment for some human stress-related syndromes, such as burnout.

Overtraining syndrome in horses is manifested by reduced performance despite the same or an increased level of training. Secretion of nocturnal growth hormone plays a role in both growth and stress, the researchers say. They were able to diagnose the syndrome by measuring the amount of the hormone in a horse's blood.

Focus can now be placed on determining effective prevention and treatment methods. The prevalence of human and equine stress-related illnesses, such as overtraining syndrome and burnout, is increasing, researchers say.

The Utrecht group led the study with cooperation of Maastricht University, Vrije University in Brussels and the University of Virginia.