A world class Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) has been established at the Marine Military Academy (MMA). The American Academy of Spine Physicians (AASP) has been involved with the establishment of the HPL having consulted with the Academy throughout the process. The MMA now has one of the most capable neuromuscular testing facilties in the country.

Representatives of the American Academy of Spine Physicians, Dr. George Dohrmann, neurosurgeon, of the University of Chicago and Dr. David Durrant, chiropractic neurologist, of the Chicago Neuroscience Institute, were amoung those enthusiastic about the HPL. "The Marine Military Academy is a good location for the implementation of such a laboratory because of the disciplined physical regimens and dedication of the staff and cadets to raising human potential," said Dr. Dohrmann. " The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for the evaluation of human physical performance, with emphasis to be placed upon the assessment of neurological and neuromuscular performance, said Dr. Durrant."

The cooperative effort of the MMA and the AASP has lead to an extraordinary opportunity to aquire multivariate statistics about spinal, pelvic and extremity neuromuscular performance on a large body of young and healthy participants. Sport specific testing can also be performed. The lab at the MMA will serve to expose the benefits of disciplined exercise and training in a population of young men to academic, athletic, medical and scientific communities throughout the world with an expanding statistical database of functional outcome.

During the later part of August, members of the AASP Academy Council toured the facility and observed the MMA staff training session in the Human Performance Lab. Dr. Durrant stated that "the lab will provide an exceptional opportunity to compare functional outcome with exercise programs, age, flexibility, body mass index, anthropomorphic measurements, percent body fat and sport related skills. The HPL staff will have the opportunity to compare side-to-side neuromuscular performance and also assess opposing muscle group capacity, both of which influence joint stability and biomechanics."

"With the new laboratory, we will be able to test and evaluate the strength of our cadets", stated Maj Gen Wayne E. Rollings, head of the Academy. "We will be able to target the weakness of the cadet and show him where he needs to improve through an individual training program."

Categories of neuromuscular testing include strength, endurance, range of motion, flexibility,torque, reaction time, velocity based performance, range of motion specific performance, balance and coordination. Approximately 400 cadets will be involved in the multivariant study, being tested various times per year over a 3 to 4 year period. The Human Performance Laboratory will be linked through the Internet to the office of the American Academy of Spine Physicians. The AASP will aquire a vast amount of statistical data on spinal and extremity biomechanics as well as neuromuscular performance. The AASP will help analyze the data. 

With extensive testing and the data generated, the cadets will appreciate the benefits of disciplined exercise and training. The follow up studies will instill confidence and enhance the physical and athletic potential of cadets at the Marine Military Academy.

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