Date of Award

Winter 2014

Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

McGowan, Cheri L.


Health and environmental sciences, Acute stumulus, Hypertension, Ischemia-reperfusion, Isometric handgrip, Oxidative stress




Isometric handgrip (IHG) training lowers resting arterial blood pressure (BP) in older, normotensive adults and it has been proposed that repeated exposure to oxidative stress, via IHG-induced ischemia-reperfusion (IR), could be an underlying mechanism. The objectives were to quantify the IHG neurovascular stimulus, determine if this IHG protocol elicits systemic vascular effects, and compare the response of the IHG stimulus to an IR cuff protocol. Vascular reactivity, assessed via flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and strain-gauge plethysmography (RVF), was determined prior-to and immediately-post an IHG bout in the exercised arm, non-exercised arm, and after IR in the reperfused arm. No significant differences were found in FMD or RVF after each of the three bouts. These findings suggest that vascular reactivity remains unchanged in either limb, both in response to an acute IHG bout and a complementary IR cuff protocol, indicating oxidative stress may not be a part of the acute IHG stimulus.