“Boosting” in Paralympic athletes with spinal cord injury: doping without drugs

Mazzeo, Filomena and Santamaria, Stefania and Iavarone, Alessandro (2015) “Boosting” in Paralympic athletes with spinal cord injury: doping without drugs. Functional Neurology, 30 (2). pp. 91-98. ISSN 1971-3274

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The intentional activation of autonomic dysreflexia (AD, also called “boosting”), a practice sometimes used by athletes affected by spinal cord injury (SCI), is banned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Although various studies have addressed doping and AD as separate issues, studies evaluating AD as a doping method are lacking. The aim of this brief review is to contribute to better understanding of the relationship between doping and AD. We conducted a literature search of the PubMed database (from 1994 onwards). The key search terms “autonomic dysreflexia” and “boosting” were cross-referenced with “sport performance”. The official Paralympic website was also viewed. AD is a potent sympathetic reflex, due to a massive release of noradrenaline, that results in marked vasoconstriction distal to the level of the lesion. Athletes with SCI often self-inflict physical suffering in order to induce this phenomenon, which carries high health risks (i.e., hypertension, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke and sudden death). Boosting is a practice that can be compared to doping methods and the IPC expressly prohibits it. Any deliberate attempt to induce AD, if detected, will lead to disqualification from the sporting event and subsequent investigation by the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autonomic dysreflexia, boosting, doping, International Paralympic Committee
Subjects: 600 Tecnologia - Scienze applicate > 610 Medicina e salute (Classificare qui la tecnologia dei servizi medici) > 616 Malattie (classificare qui la Clinica medica, la medicina basata sull'evidenza, la Medicina interna, la Medicina sperimentale) > 616.8 Malattie del sistema nervoso e disturbi mentali (Classificare qui la Neuropsichiatria, la Neurologia)
Depositing User: Marina Spanti
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 12:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 12:44
URI: http://eprints.bice.rm.cnr.it/id/eprint/12547

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