Human Performance Laboraory Programs: A Marshall University Graduate Program of Academic Excellence
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Grant related questions should be directed to Dr. Marley at 304/696-2936.


Diabetes Exercise Center (DEC) (1997-Present)
Professor Emeritus/Director/Principal Investigator: William P. Marley, Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR
Medical Director: Henry Driscoll, M.D.
Coordinator: Lois E. Adkins, M.S.
Clinical Exercise Physiologist: Karri Britt, M.S.

(Left to Right)
Coordinator Lois E. Adkins, M.S. and Clinical Exercise Physiologist Karri Britt, M.S.

Diabetes is a serious national health problem and it is not surprising that morbidity and mortality statistics of West Virginia and the Tri-State Region in general reflect the national picture. Direct and indirect medical costs for diabetes total more than $174 billion annually, and it ranks as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States with more than 400,000 deaths from all causes annually.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in diabetes patients. It is characterized by an accelerated atherosclerosis that accounts for virtually 80% of all mortality in diabetes patients and is also the leading cause of functional disability and morbidity in diabetes patients. Early detection of cardiovascular risk factors and appropriate intervention with therapeutic lifestyle changes is critical.

Those with diabetes are 25 more times likely to develop blindness than the general population with diabetic retinopathy alone accounting for at least 12% of new blindness annually, making diabetes the leading cause of blindness in working aged Americans. Macular edema and degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma are other major concerns for those with diabetes.

Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease, and up to 70% of those with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy, making it the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations. More than half of the latter procedures, numbering more than 50,000 annually, occur in diabetes patients.

Much of the suffering and expense related to diabetes, however, is preventable. In fact, type 2 diabetes, which accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes, is associated with modifiable risk factors, underscoring the urgent need for effective intervention programs and therapeutic lifestyle change strategies to prevent, delay, or correct diabetes and its complications. This need is underscored by the fact that type 2 diabetes is approaching epidemic proportions because of an increase in older Americans, increased obesity, and a sedentary way of life in America.

The DEC is an integral component of the Marshall University School of Medicine (MUSOM) Diabetes Treatment Center. Dr. Henry Driscoll is Director of the MUSOM Diabetes Center. The DEC program is designed to assist diabetes patients in making a lifetime commitment to sensible exercise, good nutrition, and informed medication management. Program strategies focus on these diabetes management skills, with the ultimate aim of enabling participants to become more active partners with their physicians, thereby enhancing the quality of their lives. Selected students are given opportunities to receive on-the-job clinical experience and assist in the supervision of this program.

DEC educational sessions include a variety of clinical topics and individual concerns: clinical terminology and definition, nutrition, exercise prescription and related information, cardiovascular disease risk factor definition and intervention, diabetes complications and psychosocial factors. Regular learning sessions are presented to participants by staff members and guest speakers from the medical and health education communities.

Evaluation procedures include an initial medical profile and subsequent reevaluations as well as ongoing assessments of blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. Exercise prescriptions are based on findings from a multi-stage exercise test and daily observations of each patient's training sessions. The medical profile permits risk stratification. of each patient and may require extensive clinical revision in their medical care. This requires cooperative efforts on the part of DEC staff and referring physicians.




Marshall University/Cabell Huntington Hospital Rehabilitation Program (1997-Present)
Principal Investigator and Program Director: William P. Marley, Ph.D.
Coordinator: Lois E. Adkins, M.S.

This program is a contractual agreement between the Human Performance Laboratory and Cabell Huntington Medical Center. It includes the Diabetes Exercise Center , a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.


Supervising Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Patients





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