Effects of Repeated Forced Exercise and/or Caffeine on Analgesia and Analgesic Tolerance

By: Geoff Phaneuf '14 and Marisa Shields '14

Advising Faculty: Joseph A. Schroeder

Caffeine-containing supplements are widely and repeatedly used by athletes to enhance performance and resist fatigue. Caffeine has also been shown to be an effective analgesic adjuvant. This ongoing study is evaluating the combined effects of caffeine and exercise on analgesia and analgesic tolerance. Rats are given caffeine and then tread water for 10 minutes. Their sensitivity to a mild heat stimulus is then measured using a tail flick analgesia meter. Results so far indicate that analgesia is enhanced immediately after exercise but this effect does not last longer than 5 minutes. Caffeine may enhance analgesia at medium and high but not low doses. Future studies will evaluate the analgesic effects of caffeine and repeated elective running wheel exercise.

Related Fields: Neuroscience