Publications by authors named "J C Menant"

73 Publications

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise for people with mild to moderate multiple sclerosis.

J Sci Med Sport 2021 Aug 24. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), Australia; School of Population Health, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Objectives: Multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common chronic and progressive neurological condition of the central nervous system, affects 26,000 Australian adults. Exercise training has beneficial effects on MS-related impairments including reduced muscular strength, poor aerobic capacity and impaired mobility, and in consequence can improve quality of life. This Position Statement provides evidence-based recommendations for exercise prescription and delivery of exercise training for people with MS with mild to moderate disability.

Design And Methods: Synthesis of published works within the field of exercise training in MS.

Results: Exercise provides many benefits to people with MS. There is strong evidence that resistance and aerobic training, performed 2 to 3 times per week at a moderate intensity, are safe and can improve muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, balance, fatigue, functional capacity, mobility and quality of life in people with MS with mild to moderate disability (Expanded Disease Severity Scale (EDSS) ≤ 6.5). However, the evidence for those with severe disability (EDSS >6.5) is less clear. The effects of exercise on MS pathogenesis, central nervous structures and other outcomes such as depression and cognitive impairment, have not been adequately investigated. Effective exercise interventions to improve balance, joint contractures and reduce falls in people with MS are also urgently needed as well as investigations of long-term (≥1 year) effects of exercise training.

Conclusions: Resistance and aerobic training exercises are effective to alleviate some characteristic signs and symptoms in MS and should be supplemented by balance exercise to prevent falls. Exercise training programs should be prescribed and delivered by qualified exercise professionals. It is important to recognise and accommodate exercise-associated complications such as fatigue and heat sensitivity.
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August 2021

Cognitive and Motor Cortical Activity During Cognitively Demanding Stepping Tasks in Older People at Low and High Risk of Falling.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 12;8:554231. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Neuroscience Research Australia, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Choice stepping reaction time tasks are underpinned by neuropsychological, sensorimotor, and balance systems and therefore offer good indices of fall risk and physical and cognitive frailty. However, little is known of the neural mechanisms for impaired stepping and associated fall risk in older people. We investigated cognitive and motor cortical activity during cognitively demanding stepping reaction time tasks using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in older people at low and high fall risk. Ninety-five older adults [mean (SD) 71.4 (4.9) years, 23 men] were categorized as low or high fall risk [based on 12-month fall history (≥2 falls) and/or Physiological Profile Assessment fall risk score ≥1]. Participants performed a choice stepping reaction time test and a more cognitively demanding Stroop stepping task on a computerized step mat. Cortical activity in cognitive [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)] and motor (supplementary motor area and premotor cortex) regions was recorded using fNIRS. Stepping performance and cortical activity were contrasted between the groups and between the choice and Stroop stepping conditions. Compared with the low fall risk group ( = 71), the high fall risk group ( = 24) exhibited significantly greater DLPFC activity and increased intra-individual variability in stepping response time during the Stroop stepping task. The high fall risk group DLPFC activity was greater during the performance of Stroop stepping task in comparison with choice stepping reaction time. Regardless of group, the Stroop stepping task elicited increased cortical activity in the supplementary motor area and premotor cortex together with increased mean and intra-individual variability of stepping response times. Older people at high fall risk exhibited increased DLPFC activity and stepping response time variability when completing a cognitively demanding stepping test compared with those at low fall risk and to a simpler choice-stepping reaction time test. This increased hemodynamic response might comprise a compensatory process for postural control deficits and/or reflect a degree of DLPFC neural inefficiency in people with increased fall risk.
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July 2021

Evidence of slow and variable choice-stepping reaction time in cancer survivors with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

Gait Posture 2021 Sep 21;89:178-185. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia; Brain and Mind Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is reported to affect up to 70 % of cancer survivors. Despite evidence that CIPN-related impairments often translate into balance and mobility deficits, the effects on stepping and quality of gait, well-documented risk factors for falls, are unclear.

Aims: (i) Establish choice-stepping reaction time (CSRT) performance in survivors with CIPN compared to young and older healthy controls and people with Parkinson's disease; (ii) document walking stability; (iii) investigate relationships between stepping and gait data to objective and patient-reported outcomes.

Methods: 41 cancer survivors with CIPN (mean (SD) age: 60.8 (9.7) years) who were ≥3months post chemotherapy, performed tests of simple and inhibitory CSRT. Walking stability measures were derived from 3-D accelerometry data during the 6-minute walk test. CIPN was assessed using neurological grading and patient-reported outcome measures (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire in CIPN Questionnaire scale EORTC CIPN20).

Results: In both stepping tests, CIPN participants performed at the level of adults aged 10 years older and people with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease. Mean (SD) total stepping response times in both CSRT (1160 (190) milliseconds) and inhibitory CSRT (1191 (164) milliseconds) tests were not associated with objective neurological grading but were correlated with increased difficulty feeling the ground. Participants with lower-limb vibration sensation deficit had slower and more variable CSRT times. There were no associations between walking stability and objective measures of CIPN, and limited correlations with the EORTC-CIPN20.

Conclusions: Cancer survivors with CIPN showed deficits in voluntary stepping responses and seemed to compensate for their sensory and motor deficits by walking slower to maintain stability. Objective and patient-reported outcomes of CIPN were correlated with slower and more variable stepping response times. Future studies should aim to identify the causes of the apparent premature decline in cognitive-motor function and develop remediating interventions.
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September 2021

Prevalence of Vestibular Disorders in Independent People Over 50 That Experience Dizziness.

Front Neurol 2021 20;12:658053. Epub 2021 May 20.

Balance and Vision Laboratory, Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

People aged over 50 are the most likely to present to a physician for dizziness. It is important to identify the main cause of dizziness in order to develop the best treatment approach. Our goal was to determine the prevalence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and peripheral and central vestibular function in people that had experienced dizziness within the past year aged over 50. One hundred and ninety three community-dwelling participants aged 51-92 (68 ± 8.7 years; 117 females) were tested using the clinical and video head impulse test (cHIT and vHIT) to test high-frequency vestibular organ function; the head thrust dynamic visual acuity (htDVA) test to test high-frequency visual-stability; the dizziness handicap inventory (DHI) to measure the impact of dizziness; as well as sinusoidal and unidirectional rotational chair testing to test low- to mid-frequency peripheral and central vestibular function. From these assessments we computed the following measures: HIT gain; htDVA score; DHI score; sinusoidal (whole-body; 0.1-2 Hz with 30°/s peak-velocity) vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain and phase; transient (whole-body, 150°/s acceleration to 50°/s constant velocity) VOR gain and time constant; optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) gain and time constant (whole-body, 50°/s constant velocity rotation). Our study showed that BPPV, and peripheral or central vestibular hypofunction were present in 34% of participants, suggesting a vestibular cause to their dizziness. Over half (57%) of these with a likely vestibular cause had BPPV, which is more than twice the percentage reported in other dizzy clinic studies. Our findings suggest that the physical DHI score and VOR time constant were best at detecting those with non-BPPV vestibular loss, but should always be used in conjunction with cHIT or vHIT, and that the htDVA score and vHIT gain were best at detecting differences between ipsilesional and contralesional sides.
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May 2021

Predictors of development and persistence of musculoskeletal pain in community-dwelling older people: A two-year longitudinal study.

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021 Jun 23;21(6):519-524. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre, Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Aim: The aim of this prospective cohort study was to identify the predictors of the development and persistence of musculoskeletal pain (MSKP) in older people.

Methods: Participants comprised 431 community-dwelling older people aged 70+ years. Demographic, anthropometric, balance, mobility, cognitive function, psychological status and physical activity level measures were obtained at baseline. Participants were asked about the presence of MSKP in the neck/back, hip, knee/leg and/or feet at baseline and two-year follow-up. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of the development and persistence of MSKP at two-year follow-up.

Results: Of 179 participants who reported no MSKP at baseline, 84 (46.9%) reported MSKP at two-year follow-up, which was associated with a higher body mass index (odds ratio (OR) 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.18), more reported depressive symptoms (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.05-1.61) and lower physical activity levels (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.84-1.00) at baseline. Of 252 participants who reported MSKP at baseline, 202 (80.2%) reported MSKP at follow-up, which was associated with a slower 6-m walking time (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.08-1.49) and more reported depressive symptoms (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.09-1.78). These associations remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, comorbidities and medication use.

Conclusions: This study suggests that higher body mass index, more depressive symptoms and less physical activity are predictors of developing MSKP, whereas slow gait speed and depressive symptoms are predictors of the persistence of MSKP among older people. The results highlight the importance of weight control, strategies to improve mental wellbeing and an active lifestyle for pain management among older people. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021; 21: 519-524.
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June 2021