Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Differences in the gut microbiome across typical ageing and in Parkinson's disease
    (2023)
    Nuzum, Nathan
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    Szymlek-Gay, Ewa A.
    ;
    Loke, Stella
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    Dawson, Samantha L.
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    Hendy, Ashlee
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    Loughman, Amy
    ;
    Macpherson, Helen
    The microbiota-gut-brain axis' role in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathophysiology, and how this differs from typical ageing, is poorly understood. Presently, gut-bacterial diversity, taxonomic abundance and metabolic bacterial pathways were compared across healthy young (n = 22, 18–35 years), healthy older (n = 33, 50–80 years), and PD groups (n = 18, 50–80 years) using shotgun sequencing and compositional data analysis. Associations between the gut-microbiome and PD symptoms, and between lifestyle factors (fibre intake, physical activity, and sleep) and the gut-microbiome were conducted. Alpha-diversity did not differ between PD participants and older adults, whilst beta-diversity differed between these groups. Lower abundance of Butyricimonas synergistica, a butyrate-producer, was associated with worse PD non-motor symptoms in the PD group. Regarding typical ageing, Bifidobacterium bifidum, was greater in the younger compared to older group, with no difference between the older and PD group. Abundance of metabolic pathways related to butyrate production did not differ among the groups, while other metabolic pathways differed among the three groups. Sleep efficiency was positively associated with Roseburia inulinivorans in the older group. These results highlight the relevance of gut-microbiota to PD and that reduced butyrate-production may be involved with PD pathophysiology. Future studies should account for lifestyle factors when investigating gut-microbiomes across ageing and in PD.
    WOS© Citations 3Scopus© Citations 4  43
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Inhibition, excitation and bilateral transfer following a unilateral complex finger-tapping task in young and older adults
    (2021)
    Nuzum, Nathan
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    ;
    Macpherson, Helen
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    Loughman, Amy
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    Szymlek-Gay, Ewa A.
    ;
    Hendy, Ashlee
    Neuroplasticity underpins motor learning, with abnormal neuroplasticity related to age-associated motor declines. Bilateral transfer of motor learning, through rehabilitation, may mitigate these declines; however, the magnitude of transfer may be reduced in older populations. This study investigated excitatory and inhibitory pathways in the trained and untrained hemispheres following unilateral training of a complex finger-tapping task across ageing. Fifteen young (26.2 ± 3.8 years) and 11 older adults (63.7 ± 15.4 years) received transcranial magnetic stimulation, although surface electromyography was recorded from the extensor digitorum communis (EDC) and abductor pollicis brevis (APB), before and after practicing a complex finger-tapping task with the dominant hand. Excitability, inhibition (expressed as percent change scores from pre- to post-training), motor task performance and bilateral transfer were assessed between groups. Investigation of hemispheric differences within each group was completed for measures that significantly differed between groups. There were no between-group differences in task performance or bilateral transfer, with task performance improving post-training irrespective of group for both hands (p < 0.05). Pre- to post-inhibition change scores of the untrained EDC muscle increased (p = 0.034) in older compared with younger adults, indicating reduced inhibition in older adults. Inhibition change scores significantly differed between hemispheres for the young group only (p = 0.037). Only the younger group presented with hemispheric lateralisation, providing some support for the Hemispheric Asymmetry Reduction in OLDer adults (HAROLD) hypothesis. Whether this reduction is evidence of de-differentiation or compensation will need to be confirmed with additional measures.
    WOS© Citations 3Scopus© Citations 3  199
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    The Central Mechanisms of Resistance Training and Its Effects on Cognitive Function
    (2021)
    Chow, Zi-Siong
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    Moreland, Ashleigh T.
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    Macpherson, Helen
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    Resistance exercise is used extensively in athletic and general populations to induce neuromuscular adaptations to increase muscle size and performance. Exercise parameters such as exercise frequency, intensity, duration and modality are carefully manipulated to induce specific adaptations to the neuromuscular system. While the benefits of resistance exercise on the neuromuscular system are well documented, there is growing evidence to suggest that resistance exercise, even when performed acutely, can lead to neuroplastic changes within the central nervous system (CNS) and improve cognitive functioning. As such, resistance exercise has been proposed as a novel adjuvant rehabilitation strategy in populations that suffer from neurological or neurocognitive impairments (i.e. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's dementia) or even to attenuate age-related declines in cognitive health. In this review, we present evidence for the neuroplastic effects and cognitive benefits of resistance exercise and propose some of the underlying mechanisms that drive neuroplasticity following resistance training. We will further discuss the effects of exercise parameters, in particular exercise frequency, intensity, duration and modality to improve cognitive health. Lastly, we will highlight some of the existing limitations in the literature surrounding the use of resistance exercise to improve cognitive function and propose considerations to improve future studies in this field. In summary, the current evidence supports the role of resistance exercise, as a stand alone or in combination with aerobic exercise, for benefiting cognitive health and that it should be considered as an adjuvant therapy to treat age- or disease-related cognitive declines.
    WOS© Citations 19Scopus© Citations 22  13
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Altered prefrontal cortex responses in older adults with subjective memory complaints and dementia during dual-task gait: An fNIRS study
    (2020) ;
    Rantalainen, Timo
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    Nuzum, Nathan
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    Valente, Leah
    ;
    Macpherson, Helen
    People with cognitive impairments show deficits during physical performances such as gait, in particular during cognitively challenging conditions (i.e. dual‐task gait [DTG]). However, it is unclear if people at risk of dementia, such as those with subjective memory complaints (SMC), also display gait and central deficits associated with DTG. In this study, we investigated the effects of single‐ and dual‐task gait (STG and DTG), on left prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation in elderly people with subjective memory complaints (SMC) and Dementia. A total of 58 older adults (aged 65–94 years; 26 Healthy; 23 SMC; 9 Dementia) were recruited. Gait spatiotemporal characteristics (i.e. stride velocity and length) were assessed using an instrumented walkway during STG and DTG. Single‐channel functional near‐infrared spectroscopy over the left PFC was used to measure changes in oxyhaemoglobin (O2Hb) during gait. Stride velocity and length during STG (all p < .05) and DTG (all p < .000) were significantly impaired in people with Dementia compared to Healthy and SMC individuals. No differences were observed between Healthy and SMC. For STG, a greater increase in O2Hb (p < .05) was observed in those with Dementia compared to the Healthy and SMC, while no differences were observed between Healthy and SMC. A significant increase and decline in O2Hb was observed during DTG in the SMC and Dementia groups, respectively, compared to Healthy. Our findings indicate an altered pattern of cerebral haemodynamic response of the left PFC in DTG in people with SMC and Dementia, which may suggest that central changes precede functional impairments in people with SMC.
    WOS© Citations 10Scopus© Citations 9  276  52
  • Publication
    Open Access
    To the gut microbiome and beyond: The brain-first or body-first hypothesis in Parkinson's disease
    (2022)
    Nuzum, Nathan
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    Loughman, Amy
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    Szymlek-Gay, Ewa A.
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    Hendy, Ashlee
    ;
    Macpherson, Helen
    There is continued debate regarding Parkinson’s disease etiology and whether it originates in the brain or begins in the gut. Recently, evidence has been provided for both, with Parkinson’s disease onset presenting as either a “body-first” or “brainfirst” progression. Most research indicates those with Parkinson’s disease have an altered gut microbiome compared to controls. However, some studies do not report gut microbiome differences, potentially due to the brain or body-first progression type. Based on the etiology of each proposed progression, individuals with the body-first progression may exhibit altered gut microbiomes, i.e., where short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria are reduced, while the brain-first progression may not. Future microbiome research should consider this hypothesis and investigate whether gut microbiome differences exist between each type of progression. This may further elucidate the impact of the gut microbiome in Parkinson’s disease and show how it may not be homogenous across individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
    WOS© Citations 7Scopus© Citations 7  49  57