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Neuromuscular Research

Since 2010 the Northumbria laboratories have had the capability of investigating central nervous system (CNS) responses to a range of exercise interventions.  Specifically, we have a growing reputation for quantifying exercise fatigue and stress, recovery and adaptation in athletic and clinical populations.

The group consists of Drs Stuart Goodall, Kev Thomas, Luca Angius, John Temesi, Rade Durbaba and led by Professor Glyn Howatson.  The first PhD completed in this area was by Dr Jamie Tallent who investigated CNS responses to eccentric and concentric muscle contractions. Subsequently, Callum Brownstein has studied the fatigue and recovery elicited following intermittent exercise and Paula Ellison is investigating the mechanisms underpinning fatigue in people with Multiple Sclerosis. Our most recent additions to the suite of doctoral neuromuscular work are Paul Ansdell who investigating the sex differences that exist in fatigue and the potential applications to training adaptation.  Jakob Skarabot is studying the CNS changes in differing muscle contractions in young and older adults. The most recent student who has embarked on a PhD in this area is Kelly McNulty, investigating the neuromuscular responses to strength training in females throughout the menstrual cycle.  Collectively, this area has produced over 50 peer reviewed investigations and is one of the most evolving research areas in the Department.  Some examples of this work are presented below.

Thomas, K., Brownstein, C. G., Dent, J., Parker, P., Goodall, S., & Howatson, G. (2018). Neuromuscular Fatigue and Recovery after Heavy Resistance, Jump, and Sprint Training. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Brownstein, C. G., Ansdell, P., Škarabot, J., Frazer, A., Kidgell, D., Howatson, G., ... & Thomas, K. (2018). Motor cortical and corticospinal function differ during an isometric squat compared to isometric knee extension. Experimental Physiology, 103, 1251-1263.

Thomas, K., Dent, J., Howatson, G., & Goodall, S. (2017). Etiology and recovery of neuromuscular fatigue following simulated soccer match-play. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 49(5), 955-964.

Zult, T., Goodall, S., Thomas, K., Solnik, S., HortobÁgyi, T., & Howatson, G. (2016). Mirror Training Augments the Cross-education of Strength and Affects Inhibitory Paths. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48(6), 1001-1013.

Goodall, S., Thomas, K., Barwood, M., Keane, K., Gonzalez, J. T., St Clair Gibson, A., & Howatson, G. (2017). Neuromuscular changes and the rapid adaptation following a bout of damaging eccentric exercise. Acta Physiologica, 220(4), 486-500.

Vernillo, G., Temesi, J., Martin, M., & Millet, G. Y. (2018). Mechanisms of Fatigue and Recovery in Upper versus Lower Limbs in Men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(2), 334-343.

Durbaba, R., Cassidy, A., Budini, F., & Macaluso, A. (2013). The effects of isometric resistance training on stretch reflex induced tremor in the knee extensor muscles. Journal of Applied Physiology, 114(12), 1647-1656.

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