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Innovative treatment for extrapulmonary benefits in COPD: effects and mechanisms of supramaximal High-Intensity Training

Project description

Effects of supramaximal high-intensity training on brain, muscle and heart health

The mortality rate in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is often attributed to extrapulmonary manifestations. New treatment modalities beyond the lungs are needed. The EU-funded COPD-HIT project will improve our understanding of the development and treatment of extrapulmonary manifestations in COPD. It will focus on brain health, muscle quality and cardiac function. The project will conduct multicentre randomised controlled and experimental trials to assess the impact of supramaximal high-intensity training on the brain, muscles and heart. It will also study the relationship between exercise and inflammation and their effect on neurodegeneration. COPD HIT will also develop an in vitro model to analyse the signalling pathways activated by different levels of loading intensities.


Given the substantial negative impact of extrapulmonary manifestations on vital clinical outcomes, including mortality, the need for new effective treatment modalities also beyond the lungs has been highlighted as an urgent challenge in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the most common and deadliest diseases of the 21st century.

The aim of COPD-HIT is to pave the way for new understanding of the development and treatment of extrapulmonary manifestations in COPD with a focus on brain health, muscle quality, and cardiac function.

To do this I will focus on the following research objectives (RO):

● RO1) Determine the effect of supramaximal High-Intensity Training (HIT) on the brain, muscle, and heart
● RO2) Determine how exercise training and inflammation impacts the trajectories of neurodegeneration
● RO3) Develop a novel in-vitro model to determine signaling pathways following various loading intensities

To reach these objectives, I aim to conduct high-quality multicenter randomized controlled and experimental trials. Further, I will lead an international research alliance with access to state-of-the-art research infrastructures and enable a unique interdisciplinary approach to fulfill my goals. This includes using advanced measurement techniques for muscle, brain, and cardiorespiratory evaluations, muscle biopsy analyses, in-vivo & in-vitro strategies, and combining quantitative and qualitative methods.

Taken together, with COPD-HIT, I am in a strong position to perform an international novel project that will determine how to enable extrapulmonary benefits in COPD in a hitherto unprecedented way.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 490 438,00
901 87 Umea

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Norra Sverige Övre Norrland Västerbottens län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00