Michael J Woods

Victoria University Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (4)14.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has examined associations between inflammation and mental health, and has increasingly focused on utilizing younger samples to characterize the temporal relationship between inflammatory responses and the emergence of other symptoms. These studies have typically used blood to measure inflammation, although rates of detection for many inflammatory markers appear to be low. Saliva is a safe and low-cost alternative, and adult research has shown that levels of some salivary markers correlate well with those in serum. However, no research has examined this association in young people. This study examined 16 inflammatory markers in serum and saliva in 17 depressed adolescents and 18 healthy controls, aged 13-18 years. In general, detection rates were higher in saliva compared to in serum. When non-detectable levels were excluded, serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) correlated with salivary CRP (r = 0.424, p = 0.015), and this correlation appeared to only exist for those individuals with high levels of serum CRP (r = 0.599, p = 0.014). However, when non-detectable levels were included as zero, salivary levels of CRP, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12p70, and interferon (IFN)-γ correlated with their serum counterparts. No significant clinical group differences in any acute phase proteins or cytokines were present. This study suggests that saliva can be used to measure inflammation in studies with adolescent participants, especially CRP, as it appears to correlate with systemic inflammation for those individuals who are expected to have high levels of inflammation. Implications for future directions in research on salivary inflammatory markers are discussed.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 08/2013; · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Common oscillatory inputs to genioglossus (GG) and tensor palatini (TP) motoneurons were assessed using coherence analysis. Oscillations in the ranges 0 to 5Hz (common drive) and 10 to 30Hz (short term synchrony) were analyzed. GG and TP electromyograms were recorded via intramuscular fine wire electrodes in 32 subjects during wakefulness. Coherence analysis was conducted on 201 pairs of motor units paired according to their discharge patterns. Results were similar for the two muscles. Common drive was significantly higher for unilateral than bilateral pairs of units (p<.001), and was highest in Inspiratory Tonic pairs and lowest in Tonic pairs (p<.001). Pairs constructed from one muscle had higher common drive than pairs from two muscles (p<.001), the difference being greater for tonic pairs (interaction effect, p=.003). Short term synchrony was weak. The results indicate strong common drive to GG and TP phasic motoneurons, while common drive to Tonic motoneurons was weaker and idiosyncratic to each muscle.
    Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 06/2013; · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: Existing literature links poor sleep and anxiety symptoms in adolescents. This pilot study aimed to develop a practical method through which a program to improve sleep could reach adolescents in need and to examine the feasibility of a mindfulness-based, multi-component group sleep intervention using sleep and anxiety as outcome measures. METHODS: Sixty-two grade 9 students (aged 13-15) at a girls' school were screened with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS). Ten participants with self-reported poor sleep were enrolled into a six-session program based on Bootzin & Stevens, with added stress/anxiety-specific components. Sessions covered key aspects of basic mindfulness concepts and practice, sleep hygiene, sleep scheduling, evening/daytime habits, stimulus control, skills for bedtime worries and healthy attitudes to sleep. Treatment changes were measured by pre-post scores on the PSQI, SCAS and 7-day actigraphy-measured sleep. RESULTS: The program demonstrated high acceptability, with a completion rate of 90%. Based on effect-size analysis, participants showed significant improvement on objective sleep onset latency (SOL), sleep efficiency and total sleep time; actigraphy data also showed significantly earlier bedtime, rise time and smaller day-to-day bedtime variation. Post-intervention global PSQI scores were significantly lower than that of pre-intervention, with significant improvement in subjective SOL, sleep quality and sleep-related daytime dysfunction. There were small improvements on some subscales of the SCAS, but change on its total score was minimal. CONCLUSIONS: A mindfulness-based, multi-component, in-school group sleep intervention following brief screening is feasible, and has the potential to improve sleep. Its impact on anxiety needs further investigation.
    Early Intervention in Psychiatry 07/2012; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Normal sleep has a profound effect on the cardiovascular system, reducing cardiovascular activity throughout non-rapid eye movement sleep; changes that are modified and augmented by circadian system influence. There is also evidence that sleep-initiated changes in autonomic balance may in turn modify the development of sleep within a night, particularly the development of slow wave sleep. It is assumed that the cardiovascular changes that accompany sleep reflect a functional aspect of sleep, although the precise functional role has not been agreed upon. Nevertheless, there is good evidence that the cardiovascular changes that occur during normal sleep are beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Arousals from sleep, which are common even in normal sleep, are associated with a surge in activity in cardiorespiratory systems, with marked effects on the sleep-related pattern of cardiovascular activity when they occur frequently. Despite the importance of this aspect of sleep, controversy remains as to both the nature of the activation response and the circumstances under which it is elicited. The concept that sleep-related changes in cardiovascular activity are beneficial leads to the corollary that sleep disturbance would result in adverse cardiovascular consequences. While there is strong empirical evidence for such a relationship, it remains unclear whether this is a direct effect or, as has been suggested recently, the effect of disturbed sleep is mediated via stress-related modification of neuroendocrine systems.
    Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 01/2012; 463(1):161-8. · 4.87 Impact Factor