Merrill R Landers

Merrill R Landers
University of Nevada, Las Vegas | UNLV · Department of Physical Therapy

31.52
 · 
PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

About

84
Publications
36,219
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,361
Citations
Introduction
My current research interests focus on understanding the physical and psychological factors associated with balance impairment, falls, and fear of falling avoidance behavior among those with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He is also exploring the biological mechanisms of aerobic exercise as a disease modifier in Parkinson’s disease.
Research Experience
July 2001 - August 2016
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Position
  • Department Chair and Associate Professor

Publications

Publications (84)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To determine which commonly used cognitive screening tests were the best predictors of ADL performance in PD and to determine if additional functional and cognitive testing offered predictive value.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our purpose in conducting this study was to investigate the effects of dopamine on dual task effects associated with speci c gait parameters between individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) with and without freezing of gait (FOG) and healthy controls.
Conference Paper
The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of using wearable activity monitors in people with MCI. Additionally, we aimed to assess the association between the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the activity monitor data and to determine if activity monitor data was more strongly associated with related variables...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic pain and the opioid epidemic need early, upstream interventions to aim at meaningful downstream behavioral changes. A recent pain neuroscience education (PNE) program was developed and tested for middle-school students to increase pain knowledge and promote healthier beliefs regarding pain. In this study, 668 seventh-grade middle-school stu...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive impairment (CI) is a prevalent condition characterized by loss of brain volume and changes in cognition, motor function, and dual-tasking ability. To examine associations between brain volumes, dual-task performance, and gait and balance in those with CI to elucidate the mechanisms underlying loss of function. We performed a retrospective...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objective: Analyze differences in cognitive profiles among freezing of gait subtypes in Parkinson's disease.
Article
Objective: Because of the pain and opioid epidemic in the United States, there is a need to update clinician's knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding persistent pain across healthcare disciplines. The aim of this study was to determine if healthcare professionals can positively change their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding chronic...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Studies suggest that exercise may be neuroprotective when implemented before the clinical presentation of Parkinson's disease (PD). Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), theorized to play a role in neuroprotection, are affected by its genotype and exercise. Here we explore this previously unstudied interaction on age at d...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Lewy Body dementia (LBD) is a disorder characterized by cognitive and motor impairments. Together, these impairments significantly increase their fall risk and reduce daily function. Studies have demonstrated that exercise can improve strength, balance, mobility, and endurance in people with cognitive impairment and dementia. Cognitiv...
Article
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if a preoperative pain neuroscience education program would result in superior outcomes compared to usual preoperative education for total knee arthroplasty. Design: Controlled clinical trial with alternating allocation. Setting: Community-based hospital. Subjects: Consecutive sample of 120 p...
Article
Background and purpose: The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a high-intensity multimodal exercise program (aerobic, strengthening, and balance training) have not been well vetted in persons with Parkinson disease (PD). Thus, the primary aim was to determine whether a high-intensity multimodal exercise boot camp (HIBC) was both feasible and saf...
Article
Full-text available
There is sparse quantitative research regarding gait coordination patterns of children on the autism spectrum, though previous studies, relying only upon observational data, have alluded to characteristically poor movement coordination. The current study compared walking with a weighted vest, a backpack carriage, and an unloaded walking condition o...
Article
Background and purpose: Because falls can have deleterious consequences, it is important to understand the influence of fatigue and medications on balance in persons with Parkinson disease (PD). Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of fatigue on balance in individuals with PD. Because brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BD...
Article
Background: Standard preoperative education for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has been shown to have no effect on postoperative outcomes. This may be because such education programs fail to educate patients about pain. Pain neuroscience education (PNE) focuses on teaching people more about pain from a neurobiological and neurophysiological perspec...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are school-aged and typically carry a backpack. It is important to understand how this task affects walking. Weighted vests (WVs) often prescribed to mitigate behavioral effects of ASD. The effects of backpack and WV walking have not been examined in children with ASD. Aims: To quanti...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of visual acuity loss with head movement in actively training mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. Methods Vestibulo-ocular reflex function of 22 asymptomatic, male MMA fighters (age = 29.2 ± 5.1) was assessed by taking the difference between static visual acuity and the dynamic visual acuity...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Purpose was to assess physiotherapists' value of using postural assessment of individuals with fibromyalgia. Secondary analysis on correlation of posture assessment by physiotherapists. Design: A non-experimental, retrospective, observational survey analysis of relationship of posture with individuals having fibromyalgia and healthy con...
Article
Background and purpose: Avoidance behavior can have deleterious consequences on health and quality of life for persons with Parkinson disease (PD); for this reason, it is important to identify potentially mitigable characteristics. We compared the characteristics of individuals with PD who exhibit fear of falling (FOF) avoidance behavior with thos...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Results from a previous multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) on preoperative pain neuroscience education (PNE) for lumbar radiculopathy found no significant difference in patient reported outcomes between groups. However, patients who received PNE viewed their surgical experience more favorably and utilized significantly less h...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To determine if a neuroplasticity educational explanation for a manual therapy technique will produce a different outcome compared to a traditional mechanical explanation. Methods: Sixty-two patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) were recruited for the study. Following consent, demographic data were obtained as well as pain rating...
Article
Full-text available
Aims To examine how the choice of words explaining ultrasound (US) may influence the outcome of physiotherapy treatment for low back pain (LBP). Methods Sixty-seven patients with LBP < 3 months were randomly allocated to one of three groups – traditional education about US (control group [CG]), inflated education about US (experimental group [EG])...
Article
Evidence suggests that there are several fall predictors in the elderly, including previous fall history and balance impairment. To date, however, the role of psychological factors have not yet been thoroughly vetted in conjunction with physical factors as predictors of future falls. To determine which measures, physical and psychological, are most...
Article
Full-text available
To compare the effects of attentional focus to augment balance outcomes in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Randomised controlled clinical trial. University gait and balance research laboratory. Forty-nine individuals with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Participants were randomly assigned into one of four groups (three balance intervention gr...
Article
Full-text available
Baseball pitching has been described as an anaerobic activity from a bioenergetics standpoint with short bouts of recovery. Depending on the physical conditioning and muscle fiber composition of the pitcher as well as the number of pitches thrown per inning and per game, there is the possibility of pitchers fatiguing during a game, which could lead...
Article
Study design: Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial on preoperative pain neuroscience education (NE) for lumbar radiculopathy. Objective: To determine if the addition of NE to usual preoperative education would result in superior outcomes with regard to pain, function, surgical experience, and health care utilization postsurgery. Summary of...
Article
Full-text available
Study Design. Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial on preoperative pain neuroscience education (NE) for lumbar radiculopathy.Objective. To determine if the addition of NE to usual preoperative education would result in superior outcomes in regards to pain, function, surgical experience and healthcare utilization post-surgery.Summary of Backgro...
Article
The purpose of this study was to establish reliability and responsiveness of the dynamic visual acuity test (DVAT) at head speeds of 150-200 degrees per second (deg/s) and the gaze stabilization test (GST) in high school and college football players. Reliability design. Fifty high school and college football athletes completed the DVAT and GST in b...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Studies have shown that lumbar surgery (LS) outcomes may be influenced by perception. However, the perceptions of the general population regarding LS are not known. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the general population's perceptions regarding LS. Subjects: This study included 262 participants (mean age: 46....
Article
Intractable cervical radiculopathy secondary to stenosis or herniated nucleus pulposus is commonly treated with an anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) procedure. However, there is little evidence in the literature that demonstrates the impact such surgery has on long-term range of motion (ROM) outcomes. The objective of this study was...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have found a neuroprotective effect of forced exercise in rodent Parkinson's disease models; however, the evidence for the protective effect of voluntary exercise is mixed. Most of these studies have initiated the exercise after toxin-induced hemiparkinsonism. Few studies have investigated the role of a preconditioning of exercise p...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The purpose of this study was to establish reliability and responsiveness of the dynamic visual acuity test (DVAT) at head speeds of 150 to 200 degrees per second (deg/sec) and the gaze stabilization test (GST) in high school and college football players. Design Reliability design Participants Fifty high school and college football ath...
Article
Full-text available
Prospective cohort/predictive validity study. To determine the predictive validity of selected clinical examination items and to develop a clinical prediction rule to determine which patients with neck pain may benefit from cervical thrust joint manipulation (TJM) and exercise. TJM to the cervical spine has been shown to be effective in patients pr...
Article
The NE1 Wound Assessment Tool (NE1 WAT; Medline Industries, Inc, Mundelein, Illinois), previously called the N.E. One Can Stage, was shown to significantly improve accuracy of pressure ulcer (PrU) staging. Improved PrU staging has many potential benefits, including improved care for the patient and better reimbursement. Medicare has incentivized go...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Little is known about correlates of physical activity of Asian and Asian-Pacific Islander Americans (AAPI). Knowledge of these correlates could be useful in promoting physical activity. Purpose: to identify demographic and environmental correlates of physical activity among AAPI. Methods: Participants resided in the Las Vegas, Neva...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cervical spine manipulation (CSM) is a commonly utilized intervention, but its use remains controversial. Purpose: To retrospectively analyze all available documented case reports in the literature describing patients who had experienced severe adverse events (AEs) after receiving CSM to determine if the CSM was used appropriately, and...
Article
Full-text available
To date, little research has been conducted to test the efficacy of different forms of motivation based on a female child's personality type. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of female children to perform a maximal knee extension isometric torque test with varying forms of motivation, based on the child's personality type (intr...
Article
To compare the immediate effects of a hold-relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching (HR-PNF) versus static stretch (SS) on hamstring flexibility in healthy, asymptomatic subjects. Thirty subjects (13 female; mean age 25.7 ± 3.0, range 22-37) without excessive hamstring muscle flexibility were randomly assigned to one of two stretc...
Article
Full-text available
A history of falls or imbalance may lead to a fear of falling, which may lead to self-imposed avoidance of activity; this avoidance may stimulate a vicious cycle of deconditioning and subsequent falls. The purpose of this study was to develop a questionnaire that would quantify avoidance behavior due to a fear of falling. This study consisted of 2...
Article
Full-text available
A decrease in blood hydrogen ions (H) may allow for the recovery of a muscle, which should allow for greater performance in subsequent activity. The purpose of this study was to determine which of 3 forms of recovery were the most effective after an inning of pitching in baseball. Three different measurements were used to determine which recovery m...
Article
Full-text available
Randomized clinical trial. To determine if patients who met the clinical prediction rule (CPR) criteria for the success of thoracic spine thrust joint manipulation (TJM) for the treatment of neck pain would have a different outcome if they were treated with a cervical spine TJM. A CPR had been proposed to identify patients with neck pain who would...
Article
Full-text available
Randomized, blinded, controlled crossover trial. To determine if thrust joint manipulation (TJM) to the lumbar spine would result in changes to the resting and contraction thickness of transversus abdominis (TrA) in healthy individuals. Recent studies have demonstrated an immediate decrease in resting thickness and an increase in contraction thickn...
Article
Full-text available
Case report. Lumbar spine nucleoplasty is a new surgical option for patients with disc pathology. There are no reports in the literature describing the role of physical therapy in postoperative lumbar nucleoplasty management. The purpose of this case is to describe the postoperative physical therapy management of a patient who underwent this proced...
Article
Full-text available
The Physical Mobility Scale (PMS) is used to evaluate the functional ability of aged adults. It has been shown to be reliable and has evidence to support its validity; however, there has been only 1 study performed to date that has addressed its responsiveness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the responsiveness of the PMS using residents...
Article
Full-text available
Sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a rare and debilitating neurologic disease of insidious onset. It is characterized by atrophy of the cerebellum, pons, and inferior olivary nuclei with concomitant ambulation deficits and dyscoordination. To our knowledge, there has been no published study investigating any aspect of rehabilitation in...
Article
Full-text available
Postural instability while standing, walking, and interacting with objects or the environment places individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) at risk for falls, injuries, and self-imposed restrictions in activity. Recent research with motor skills, including those demanding postural stability, has demonstrated performance and learning advantages whe...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological factors, such as fear-avoidance beliefs and nonorganic signs, have been postulated to play a role in the development of prolonged disability. The purpose of this study was to determine if fear-avoidance beliefs and nonorganic behavior are predictive of disability in patients with neck pain. Seventy-nine patients, with neck pain, were...
Article
Full-text available
Parkinson's disease (PD) predisposes one to falls, which in turn may lead to serious injury and decreased quality of life. Therefore, it is critical to accurately identify those at risk of falling so that preventive measures may be properly applied. Forty-nine participants (25 retrospectively identified fallers and 24 nonfallers) with a diagnosis o...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dynamic activity and dynamic activity/static stretching of the gastrocnemius muscle on vertical jump (VJ) performance. Additionally, muscle activity was recorded using electromyography. Thirteen healthy adults (7 men and 6 women) with a mean age of 26 +/- 4 years served as subjects. The av...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dynamic activity and dynamic activity/static stretching of the gastrocnemius muscle on vertical jump (VJ) performance. Additionally, muscle activity was recorded using electromyogra-phy. Thirteen healthy adults (7 men and 6 women) with a mean age of 26 6 4 years served as subjects. The ave...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to determine if workers' compensation (WC) and litigation status were associated with long-term functional limitation in patients with neck pain. Understanding what physical and psychologic variables are related to long-term functional limitation is an important aspect of clinical decision-making and understanding illn...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate changes that occur in pulmonary function when postural changes in the sagittal plane are made in a seated position in patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Fourteen patients diagnosed with COPD participated in this study. Standard spirometric measurements (minute ventilati...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare loaded activities (standing and walking) versus unloaded activities (stationary biking and sitting), and dynamic activities (stationary biking and treadmill walking) versus static activities (sitting and standing) on foot volumetrics.Design: This study was a single-group, repeated measures desi...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the effects of verbal motivation on isokinetic: peak torque knee extension in children with two distinct personality types (introvert versus extrovert). The subjects were tested in three groups without verbal motivation, with verbal motivation from the tester, and with verbal motivation from the tester and the other particip...