Welcome to the CArdiovascular Research and Exercise (CARE) Lab at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The CARE Lab is part of the Department of Physical Therapy at UNLV. Our research in the CARE Lab focuses on how the body responds to exercise. Our main interests are the regulation of heart rate and blood pressure, and the structure and function of the heart and the vascular system. We investigate the immediate response to different tasks like standing up, and the long term adaptations that occur with exercise programs. We use state-of-the-art equipment and non-invasive research methods, which are both high-quality and participant-friendly.

Special populations require a special focus
In our lab we focus specifically on individuals with intellectual disabilities, individuals with Down syndrome and individuals with multiple sclerosis. Individuals with disabilities are amongst the most physically-inactive populations. The disability-associated health-care expenditures of this group comprise around 25% of the total US annual health care spending. In addition, adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer. Risks of inactivity-related health conditions are particularly high among populations with neurological limitations. We are addressing this issue by applying a thorough understanding of cardiovascular and autonomic function to the health issues uncovered by population-level research. The results of our research will contribute to tailoring programs to improve physical activity, fitness levels and cardiovascular health in these populations.

Quality and experience
With over 10 years of experience in activity and fitness research in adults with intellectual disabilities, including Down syndrome, we know how to make participating in research comfortable and fun. Just like all research studies with humans at UNLV, our research studies are approved and monitored by the UNLV Institutional Review Board, who protects the rights and welfare of the research participants.
As we understand that participating in research is new to most of our participants, we take our time to explain what we will be doing, and to practice and to get familiar with the lab team members and the study procedures. Participants can ask questions at all times, and an accompanying family member or caregiver can be present during all the parts of the study.