Newswise — Hollywood, FL – April 19, 2015 – Keynote Speaker Andre La Gerche, MBBS, PhD, a cardiologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia will present, “Exercise and Passing Out: When to Worry” today at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.

The conference, with more than 1,500 sports medicine physicians from across the United States and 10 countries around the world features presentations on advances in sports medicine. Dr. La Gerche will present on syncope and sports at 9:05 a.m.

Syncope, which is the rapid onset of transient loss of consciousness, can be fatal in athletes and therefore it is important if risk factors are detected in the athlete before they participate in their respective sports. In the general population, several factors can result in syncope. However, in athletes the most common causes are of cardiac etiology. Specifically, arrhythmias and predisposing conditions such as prolonged QT intervals can be culprits. Until recently, where athletic programs, schools, and sports teams have implemented ways to detect some of these risk factors, they went unnoticed.

Dr. La Gerche, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium has done work in the past looking at how some of these risk factors can be picked up combining pre-participation ECG and the Seattle Criteria (a set of guidelines that help distinguish what ECG is abnormal or normal in an athlete). His research focuses on the effect of exercise on the pulmonary circulation and the right ventricle as well as the effects of endurance exercise on the heart and environmental/genetic interactions in determining athletic heart remodeling. He will be speaking and expanding on this topic.

About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: The conference features lectures and research addressing the most challenging topics in sports medicine today including prevention of sudden cardiac death, concussion, biologic therapies and other issues facing the field of sports medicine. More than 1,500 sports medicine physicians from across the United States and 10 countries around the world attended the meeting.

About the AMSSM: The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a multi-disciplinary organization of physicians whose members are dedicated to education, research, collaboration and fellowship within the field of sports medicine. Founded in 1991, the AMSSM now comprises more than 2,300 sports medicine physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.