TRANSPLANT… AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR SPORT
In 2008, the Italian National Transplant Centre (Centro Nazionale Trapianti, CNT) began a study on a group of transplant athletes taking part in national and international sports competitions in order to verify the effects of sporting activity on solid-organ transplant recipients. The results showed that physiological response, energy expenditure, kidney function and endurance of physical strain were comparable to the figures for non-transplant athletes. On the basis of the results obtained from the study on athletes, a research protocol was established in 2010 to measure exercise effectiveness in transplant patients as post-transplant therapy for use alongside pharmacological therapy, this was a unique opportunity to study the outcomes of a personalized prescription of organized and supervised physical activity for solid organ transplanted patients.
To support scientific research and information on sports and transplants, the National Transplant Center and the University of Bologna, in collaboration with the Education & Research Department Isokinetic, promoted the Research Protocol “A transplant…and now it’s time for sport” that is the first scientific study designed to measure the effects of exercise in patients with solid organ transplantation. The main objectives is to measure, and thus demonstrate, in a scientific way that physical activity is essential for all transplant recipients. The promotion of prescribing a constant physical activity, such as supportive therapy for patients with chronic diseases would be crucial in order to reach prevention rather than to cure many diseases, also to mitigate the economic impact on Public Health. In particular, for patients with organ transplant, to perform supervised exercise can help control the state of overall health (and psychological) leading to significant improvements in post-transplant life.