Dr Jasmine Menant

TEAM LEADER PROFILE

Senior Research Officer Conjoint Lecturer, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine

+612 9399 1267


Jasmine has a background in exercise science and gained a PhD in applied physiology/biomechanics from the University of New South Wales in 2008. Her research interests are twofold: (i) understanding risk factors for falls in older people and clinical groups (Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis), and: (ii) investigating sensory, cognitive and neuromuscular factors contributing to postural stability, stepping and gait in aging and clinical populations (Parkinson’s disease, neurodevelopmental disorders).

In addition to conducting mechanistic studies of gait and balance, Jasmine has also been coordinating several prospective falls risk cohort studies of older adults and a large NHMRC-funded randomised controlled trial of multifaceted interventions to improve dizziness symptoms in older adults.

Projects Dr Jasmine Menant is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Treating dizziness in older people

Despite effective treatments being available, up to 40% of older people with reported dizziness remain undiagnosed and untreated. A multidisciplinary assessment battery, with new validated assessments of vestibular impairments is required for diagnosing and treating older people with dizziness. This project will therefore aim to conduct a randomised-control trial of a multifaceted dizziness intervention based on a multidisciplinary assessment, and develop a multiple profile assessment of dizziness for use in Specialist Clinics.

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Treating dizziness in older people

Training to prevent falls in older people

To date, no studies have examined the potential for cognitive or cognitive-motor training to prevent falls in older people, despite good evidence of fall-related cognitive and physical improvements following both intervention types. Building on our initial work, we have developed and validated a home-based computerised training intervention that can be delivered identically, either while seated (cognitive) or while standing and undertaking balance exercises (cognitive+motor). Our project will also uncover cognitive-motor interactions and their neural pathways related to falls, via state-of-the-art imaging techniques that measure brain structure and functional changes. This intervention addresses both physical and cognitive fall risk factors. It holds promise for a cost-effective fall prevention strategy with multiple health benefits for older people.

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A RCT of cognitive-only and cognitive-motor training to prevent falls in older people

Interactive step training to reduce falls in people with MS

More than 50% of people with multiple sclerosis will fall over a 3 month period. A clinical trial is being conducted in 500 people with multiple sclerosis who have difficulties with mobility and balance. We hope results of this study will provide solid scientific evidence to include in fall management programs for people with this condition.

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An interactive step training RCT to reduce falls in people with multiple sclerosis

A RCT of cognitive-only and cognitive-motor training to prevent falls in older people

This study aims to investigate the benefits of balance training and brain training on physical functions (balance and mobility), cognitive functions, general health and accidental fall events in people aged 65+ years.

The smartstep training system has been designed to enable you to undertake training in your own home, by playing engaging and enjoyable computer games. The system connects to a TV or computer monitor. The games are played with either a step mat (Figure 1) or a touch pad (Figure 2). These games have been designed to train important balance and cognitive functions, while also being fun. You may recognise some of the games, such as Space Invaders and Tetris (Figure 3).

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A RCT of cognitive-only and cognitive-motor training to prevent falls in older people

Everyday fatigue and fall risk in older people

This study will determine whether a busy day of physical activity (‘real world’ fatigue) impacts balance and mobility measures in older people. It will determine the importance of fatigue as a fall risk factor in older people, and provide significant information with respect to the value of mitigating fatigue as a fall prevention strategy.

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Everyday fatigue and fall risk in older people

RESEARCH TEAM

LINDA ROYLANCE Executive Assistant : +612 9399 1124
: l.roylance@neura.edu.au

DINAZ PAREKH Research Assistant : d.parekh@neura.edu.au

Jessica Turner

JESSICA TURNER Research Assistant

JOANNE LO Research Assistant

CAMERON HICKS Research Assistant : 9399 1209
: c.hicks@neura.edu.au

DR YOSHIRO OKUBO Postdoctoral Researcher : y.okubo@neura.edu.au

Mayna Ratanapongleka

MAYNA RATANAPONGLEKA Research Assistant

PUBLICATIONS

Head and trunk stability during gait before and after levodopa intake in Parkinson's disease subtypes.

Pelicioni PHS, Brodie MA, Latt MD, Menant JC, Menz HB, Fung VSC, Lord SR

People with the PD PIGD subtype exhibit impaired gait stability that is not improved and frequently worsened by levodopa. New non-pharmaceutical approaches, technological (e.g. cueing) or exercise-based (e.g. balance training) are required to improve or compensate for mediolateral gait instability in this subtype and ultimately prevent falls.

Executive functioning, concern about falling and quadriceps strength mediate the relationship between impaired gait adaptability and fall risk in older people.

Caetano MJD, Lord SR, Brodie MA, Schoene D, Pelicioni PHS, Sturnieks DL, Menant JC

Impaired gait adaptability is associated with high risk of falls in older adults. Reduced executive function, increased concern about falling and weaker quadriceps strength contribute significantly to this relationship. Training gait adaptability directly, as well as addressing the above mediators through cognitive, behavioural and physical training may maximise fall prevention efficacy.

Reducing the burden of dizziness in middle-aged and older people: A multifactorial, tailored, single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Menant JC, Migliaccio AA, Sturnieks DL, Hicks C, Lo J, Ratanapongleka M, Turner J, Delbaere K, Titov N, Meinrath D, McVeigh C, Close JCT, Lord SR

A multifactorial tailored approach for treating dizziness was effective in reducing dizziness handicap in community-living people aged 50 years and older. No difference was seen on the other primary outcomes. Our findings therefore support the implementation of individualized, multifaceted evidence-based therapies to reduce self-perceived disability associated with dizziness in middle-aged and older people.

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