a woman in laboratory


Jacob Lindheimer
Research Health Scientist

William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

2500 Overlook Terrace

Madison, WI 53705

Jacob Lindheimer

Degrees and Certificates


Primary Research Interests

Gulf War Illness; War related illnesses; Post-deployment Health

Secondary Research Interests

Placebo and nocebo effects in psychological and physiological responses to exercise

Research Statement

Dr. Jacob Lindheimer, PhD is a behavioral scientist who uses neuroimaging, immunological, and cardio-pulmonary exercise testing techniques to study war-related illnesses. He is specifically focused on studying Veterans with Gulf War Illness , a prevalent (~25-33% of Persian Gulf War Veterans) and debilitating chronic multi-symptom illness that is primarily characterized by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction. Currently, Dr. Lindheimer is a Research Health Scientist and Co-Director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory at the William S. Middleton Veterans Memorial Hospital. In 2018, Dr. Lindheimer was awarded a 5-year VA Career Development Award (CDA-2) that is testing the dose-response effects of aerobic exercise intensity on symptomatic (e.g., pain, fatigue, mood), behavioral (e.g., cognitive performance, pain sensitivity), and biological (e.g., inflammatory cytokines, pain neuromodulators) indices of illness severity in Veterans with Gulf War Illness. The long-term goal of this project is to provide clinicians and researchers with an evidence-based exercise prescription that is safe and tolerable for Veterans with Gulf War Illness.



1. Lindheimer, JB, Stegner, AJ, Ellingson, LD, VanRiper, SM, Dougherty, RJ, Falvo, MJ, and Cook, DB (2019). The influence of pain anticipation on brain activity and pain perception in Gulf War Veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Psychophysiology. DOI: 10.1111/psyp.13452

2. Lindheimer, JB, Szabo, A, Raglin, JS and Beedie, C (2019). Advancing the understanding of placebo effects in psychological outcomes of exercise: lessons learned and future directions. European Journal of Sport Science. DOI:10.1080/17461391.2019.1632937

3. Dougherty, RJ, Boots, E, Lindheimer, JB, Stegner, AJ, Van Riper, S, Edwards, DF, Gallagher, CL, Carlsson, CM, Rowley, HA, Bendlin, BB, Asthana, S, Hermann, BP, Sager, MA, Johnson, SC, Okonkwo, OC and Cook, DB (2019). Fitness, independent of physical activity is associated with cerebral blood flow in adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Brain imaging and Behavior. DOI: 10.1007/s11682-019-00068-w

4. Falvo, MJ, Lindheimer, JB, and Serrador, JM (2018). Dynamic cerebral autoregulation is impaired in Veterans with Gulf War Illness: a case-control study. PLoS One, 13, 1-17. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205393

5. O’Connor, PJ, Loy, BD, Lindheimer, JB, and Covert, SF (2018). Adenosine A2A receptor gene polymorphisms (ADORA2A) are associated with maximal concentric contraction pain. Meta Gene, 18, 53-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.mgene.2018.07.013

6. Beedie, C, Benedetti, F, Barbiana, D, Camerone, E, Cohen, E, Coleman, D, Davis, A, Edelston, C, Foad, A, Flowers, E, Harvey, S, Hettinga, F, Hurst, P, Lane, A, Lindheimer, JB, Raglin, J, Roelands, B, Schiphof-Godart, L and Szabo, A (2018). Consensus statement of the Inaugural International Symposium on Placebo Effects in Sport & Exercise (IISPESE). European Journal of Sport Science, 18, 1383-1389. DOI:10.1080/17461391.2018.1496144

7. Salcedo, PA*, Lindheimer, JB*, Klein, JC, Sotolongo, AM, Falvo, MJ (2018). Effects of exercise training on pulmonary function in adults with chronic lung disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 99, 2561-2569. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.03.014 * These authors made equal contributions to the manuscript

8. Ellingson, LD, Stegner, AJ, Schwabacher, I, Lindheimer, JB, Cook, DB (2018). Catastrophizing interferes with cognitive modulation of pain in women with fibromyalgia. Pain Medicine, 19, 2408-2422. DOI: 10.1093/pm/pny008

9. Dougherty, RD, Lindheimer, JB, Stegner, AJ, Van Riper, SM, Okonkwo, OC and Cook, DB (2018). An objective method to accurately measure cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults who cannot satisfy widely used oxygen consumption criteria. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 61, 601-611. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170576

10. Van Riper, SM, Alexander, AL, Koltyn, KF, Stegner, AJ, Ellingson, LD, Destiche, DJ, Dougherty, RJ, Lindheimer, JB and Cook, DB (2017). Cerebral white matter structure is disrupted in Gulf War Veterans with Chronic musculoskeletal pain. Pain, 158, 2364-375. DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001038

11. Lindheimer, JB, Meyer, JD, Stegner, AJ, Dougherty, RJ, Van Riper, S, Shields, M, Reisner, A, Shukla, SK, Light, AR, Yale, S and Cook, DB. (2017). Symptom variability following acute exercise in ME/CFS: A perspective on measuring post-exertion malaise. Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, 5, 69-88. DOI: 10.1080/21641846.2017.1321166

12. Lindheimer, JB, O’Connor, PJ, McCully, KM and Dishman, RK. (2017). The effect of light intensity cycling on mood and working memory in response to a randomized, placebo-controlled design. Psychosomatic Medicine, 79, 243-253. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000381

13. Boolani A, Lindheimer JB, Loy, BD, Crozier, SC and O’Connor PJ. (2017). Acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue: A randomized, placebo-controlled crossover experiment. BMC Nutrition, 3, 1-11. DOI: 10.1186/s40795-016-0117-z

14. Dougherty, RJ, Ellingson, LD, Schultz, SA, Boots, EA, Meyer, JD, Lindheimer, JB, Van Riper, S, Stegner, AJ, Edwards, DF Oh, JM, Koscik, RL, Dowling, MN, Gallagher, CL, Carlsson, CM, Rowley, HA, Bendlin, BB, Asthana, S, Hermann, BP, Sager, MA, Johnson, SC, Okonkwo, OC and Cook, DB (2016). Meeting physical activity recommendations may be protective against temporal lobe atrophy in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 4, 14-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.dadm.2016.03.005

15. Straight, CR, Lindheimer, JB, Brady, AO, Dishman, RK and Evans, EM. (2015). Effects of resistance training on lower-extremity muscle power in middle-aged and older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Sports Medicine, 46, 353-364. DOI: 10.1007/s40279-015-0418-4

16. Loy, BD, O’Connor, PJ, Lindheimer, JB and Covert, SF (2015). Caffeine is ergogenic for adenosine A2A receptor gene (ADORA2A) T allele homozygotes: A pilot study. Journal of Caffeine Research, 5, 73-81. DOI:10.1089/jcr.2014.0035

17. Lindheimer, JB, O’Connor, PJ and Dishman, RK (2015). Quantifying the placebo effect in psychological outcomes of exercise training: A meta-analysis of randomized trials. Sports Medicine, 45, 693-711. DOI: 10.1007/s40279-015-0303-1

18. Herring, MP, Lindheimer, JB and O’Connor, PJ (2014). The effects of exercise training on anxiety. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 8, 388-403. DOI:10.1177/1559827613 508542

19. Lindheimer, JB, Loy, BD and O’Connor, PJ (2013). Short-term effects of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis and Rosmarinus eriocalyx) on sustained attention and on energy and fatigue mood states in young adults with low energy. Journal of Medicinal Food, 8, 765-771. DOI:10.1089/jmf.201 2.0216

Professional Accomplishments

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