The 'ACE' gene has been discovered by a team headed by Professor Hugh Montgomery that seems to be linked to the body’s ability and suitability for ‘endurance’. This ground-breaking research has been conducted with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and the Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London.
Identifying whether someone carries the genetic code to become an endurance athlete might also shed light on why some athletes are more prone to injuries than others. Knowing why an injury has occurred could also be instrumental in selecting the correct treatment.
Professor Montgomery explains, "We have identified one gene that we think strongly influences the risk of stress fracture, which we hopefully will be publishing on this year, but there will be many more to come."
The Beijing Olympic Games were the first to record information about sports injuries throughout the varied sportsdisciplines. Since then, interest in athletes performance, and their injuries, has intensified. The Injury & Illness Performance Project (IIPP) has, for the past four years, been investigating cause and effect as well as how to reduce the risks of injury to international athletes.
Data, that the IIPP has collected, shows that 43% of athletes will get at least one injury per season, amounting to an average of 17 lost training days and 1 missed competition.
EIS Sports Physician and Modern Pentathlon specialist, Dr Paul Jackson, says, “The data on the relationship between certain lower limb injuries and training load has allowed us to review the injury prevention drills and talk to the coaches about adequate recovery an the intervals between heavy loading of the legs. For some athletes in Modern Pentathlon this means not running and fencing on the same day.”
Previously, injury and illness in sport was seen in a negative context. Now, injury data is being used in a positive way to help overcome, rehabilitate and retrain in a more effective way.