Michael Valenzuela's research while affiliated with University of South Wales and other places

Publications (212)

Article
Background: Self-administered computerized neuropsychological assessments (CNAs) provide lower cost, more accessible alternatives to traditional in-person assessments but lack critical information on psychometrics and subjective experience of older adults in remote testing environments. Objective: We used an online brief battery of computerized...
Article
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Background Older companion dogs naturally develop a dementia-like syndrome with biological, clinical and therapeutic similarities to Alzheimer disease (AD). Given there has been no new safe, clinically effective and widely accessible treatment for AD for almost 20 years, an all-new cell therapeutic approach was trialled in canine veterinary patient...
Article
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Public health initiatives aim to improve health outcomes for populations by preventing disease and ill‐health consequences of environmental hazards and natural or human‐made disasters. Whilst public health initiatives have been used successfully to modify behaviours for chronic diseases, many initiatives targeting reduced dementia risk in older adu...
Article
The Mediterranean‐style diet (MD) is promoted as one of the healthiest dietary patterns and has been shown to reduce cognitive decline in some randomised controlled trials (RCTs). This pattern is plant‐based with a focus on vegetables, legumes, fish, and olive oil, with low intake of red meats and foods high in sugar and saturated fats. The Maintai...
Article
Technology and web‐based approaches potentially provide scalable population‐based interventions to reduce modifiable risk factors for dementia. Key issues in online interventions are recruitment and retention. To devise strategies to improve population reach We investigated which factors influence recruiting and maintaining participants in such an...
Article
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Background: The Lifetime of Experiences Questionnaire (LEQ) assesses complex mental activity across the life-course and has been associated with brain and cognitive health. The different education systems and occupation classifications across countries represent a challenge for international comparisons. The objectives of this study were four-fold:...
Article
The Maintain Your Brain trial (MYB) is one of the largest internet-delivered multidomain RCT designed to target modifiable risk factors for dementia. It comprises four intervention modules: physical activity, nutrition, mental health, and cognitive training. This paper explains the MYB Nutrition Module, which is a fully online intervention promotin...
Article
Following unsuccessful pharmacological interventions, momentum is increasing for prevention of cognitive decline and dementia strategies for which technology and web‐based non‐pharmacological applications provide a scalable population‐based approach1. We describe feasibility of a pilot study of an internet based randomised controlled trial targetin...
Poster
The Lifetime of Experiences questionnaire (LEQ, Valenzuela and Sachdev, 2007) is an instrument that comprehensively assesses mental activity (education/occupation and leisure activities) across the lifespan (13‐30, 30‐65, 65‐present). The LEQ has been associated with brain health outcomes and cognitive decline. Challenges for the use of this questi...
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Introduction: Reserve, resilience, maintenance, and related concepts are intensely debated in aging and Alzheimer's disease research. Methods: Through a short survey, we gathered information about theoretical concepts and methodologies used among research groups of the Reserve, Resilience, and Protective Factors Professional Interest Area of the...
Article
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Some aged community dogs acquire a degenerative syndrome termed Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) that resembles human dementia because of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), with comparable cognitive and behavioral deficits. Dogs also have similar neuroanatomy, share our domestic environment and develop amyloid-β plaques, making them likely a valuable ecol...
Conference Paper
Clinical and biological changes during the prodromal stages of dementia are both complicated and expensive. A biomarker for cognitive reserve exposure would be highly useful as a dementia risk predictor, but has eluded researchers. Speech, which exhibits disfluencies due to dementia, is a good candidate as it is easy to collect and non-invasive. Ho...
Article
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Because our beliefs regarding our individuality, autonomy, and personhood are intimately bound up with our brains, there is a public fascination with cerebral organoids, the “mini-brain,” the “brain in a dish”. At the same time, the ethical issues around organoids are only now being explored. What are the prospects of using human cerebral organoids...
Article
Maintain Your Brain (MYB)i is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of multiple online interventions designed to target modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Traditional clinical trial management systems (CTMS) requirements consist of features such as management of the study, site, subject (participant), clinical outcomes, ext...
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Introduction Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery is known to improve vascular function and cardiac-related mortality rates; however, it is associated with high rates of postoperative cognitive decline and delirium. Previous attempts to prevent post-CABG cognitive decline using pharmacological and surgical approaches have been largely uns...
Article
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Dementia affects 47 million individuals worldwide, and assuming the status quo is projected to rise to 150 million by 2050. Prevention of age-related cognitive impairment in older persons with lifestyle interventions continues to garner evidence but whether this can combat underlying neurodegeneration is unknown. The Study of Mental Activity and Re...
Article
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The increased understanding that neuropathology begins decades before symptom onset, has led to the conceptualization and widespread utilization of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) as an important transitional state between healthy aging and dementia. Further subcategorization to MCI subtype has led to more distinct prognoses and it is widely consid...
Article
In 358 participants of the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, we quantified the cognitive consequences of engaging in varying loads of university-level education in later life, and investigated whether or not BDNF Val66Met affected outcomes. Assessment of neuropsychological, health, and psychosocial function was undertaken at baseline, 12-month, and...
Preprint
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Background: Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) have more gait variability under dual-task conditions than cognitively healthy adults. However, characteristics associated with this susceptibility of gait to dual-task stress are unknown. Methods: Testing was performed at baseline in the Study of Mental And Resistance Training (SMART). N...
Article
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Background: Maintain Your Brain (MYB) is a randomized controlled trial of an online multi-modal lifestyle intervention targeting modifiable dementia risk factors with its primary aim being to reduce cognitive decline in an older age cohort. Methods: MYB aims to recruit 8,500 non-demented community dwelling 55 to 77 year olds from the Sax Institu...
Article
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Background Physical and cognitive impairments are important risk factors for falls in older people. However, no studies have been adequately powered to examine whether cognitive or cognitive-motor training can prevent falls in older people. This is despite good evidence of improvements in fall-related cognitive and physical functions following both...
Article
Background. Cognitive impairments are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Systematic reviews reported promising evidence for various cognitive interventions in this population. Computerized cognitive training (CCT) has strong evidence for safety and efficacy in several populations, but its effects in MS have yet to be specified. Objectiv...
Article
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Background: Dementia is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence and burden of the disease are urgently needed. Maintain Your Brain (MYB) is a randomized controlled trial of a multimodal digital health intervention targeting modifiable dementia risk factors to combat cognitive decline and potent...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Dementia is the leading cause of disability worldwide and interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence and burden of the disease are urgently needed. Maintain Your Brain (MYB) is a randomized controlled trial of a multi-modal digital health intervention targeting modifiable dementia risk factors for the main objective of combating cogn...
Article
Dementia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality without pharmacologic prevention or cure. Mounting evidence suggests that adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern may slow cognitive decline, and is important to characterise in at-risk cohorts. Thus, we determined the reliability and validity of the Mediterranean Diet and Culinary Index (...
Article
Several concepts, which in the aggregate get might be used to account for "resilience" against age- and disease-related changes, have been the subject of much research. These include brain reserve, cognitive reserve, and brain maintenance. However, different investigators have use these terms in different ways, and there has never been an attempt t...
Article
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Globally, epilepsy is a common serious brain disorder. In addition to seizure activity, epilepsy is associated with cognitive impairments including static cognitive impairments present at onset, progressive seizure-induced impairments and co-morbid dementia. Epilepsy occurs naturally in domestic dogs but its impact on canine cognition has yet to be...
Article
Chronic pain is associated with reduced efficiency of cognitive performance, and few studies have investigated methods of remediation. We trialled a computerised cognitive training protocol to determine whether it could attenuate cognitive difficulties in a chronic pain sample. Thirty-nine adults with chronic pain (mean age = 43.3, 61.5% females) w...
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Although predictors of academic success have been identified in young adults, such predictors are unlikely to translate directly to an older student population, where such information is scarce. The current study aimed to examine cognitive, psychosocial, lifetime, and genetic predictors of university-level academic performance in older adults (50-7...
Article
Repopulation of brain circuits by neural precursors is a potential therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative disorders, however choice of cell is critical. Previously, we introduced a two-step culture system that generates a high yield of neural precursors from small samples of adult canine skin. Here we probe their gene and protein expression pr...
Data
Document S1. Supplemental Experimental Procedures, Figures S1–S7, and Tables S1–S3
Article
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents arguably the most significant social, economic, and medical crisis of our time. Characterized by progressive neurodegenerative pathology, AD is first and foremost a condition of neuronal and synaptic loss. Repopulation and regeneration of depleted neuronal circuitry by exogenous stem cells is therefore a rational...
Article
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An active cognitive lifestyle has been suggested to have a protective role in the long-term maintenance of cognition. Amongst healthy older adults, more managerial or supervisory experiences in midlife are linked to a slower hippocampal atrophy rate in late life. Yet whether similar links exist in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is...
Article
The rate of neurogenesis within the adult hippocampus has been shown to vary across mammalian species. The canine hippocampus, demonstrating a structural intermediacy between the rodent and human hippocampi, is therefore a valuable model in which to study adult neurogenesis. In vitro culture assays are an essential component of characterizing neuro...
Article
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Objective: Previous meta-analyses indicate that computerized cognitive training (CCT) is a safe and efficacious intervention for cognition in older adults. However, efficacy varies across populations and cognitive domains, and little is known about the efficacy of CCT in people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Method:The authors searched...
Article
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Objective: To quantitatively aggregate effects of cognitive training (CT) on cognitive and functional outcome measures in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) more than 12-months post-injury. Design: We systematically searched six databases for non-randomized and randomized controlled trials of CT in TBI patients at least 12-months post-injur...
Article
Objectives: To determine whether improvements in aerobic capacity (VO2peak ) and strength after progressive resistance training (PRT) mediate improvements in cognitive function. Design: Randomized, double-blind, double-sham, controlled trial. Setting: University research facility. Participants: Community-dwelling older adults (aged ≥55) with...
Article
Development of new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders has been hampered by a reliance on post mortem tissue that is representative of end-stage disease, or on animal models that fail to provide faithful analogs. However, rapid advances in cellular genetic reprogramming, in particular the induction of somatic cells into stem cells,...
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Physical and cognitive exercise may prevent or delay dementia in later life but the neural mechanisms underlying these therapeutic benefits are largely unknown. We examined structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain changes after 6 months of progressive resistance training (PRT), computerized cognitive training (CCT) or combin...
Article
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Physical and cognitive exercise may prevent or delay dementia in later life but the neural mechanisms underlying these therapeutic benefits are largely unknown. We examined structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain changes after 6 months of progressive resistance training (PRT), computerized cognitive training (CCT) or combin...
Chapter
Exercise is well known to be beneficial to physical health; however, increasing research indicates that physical exercise is also beneficial to brain health and may alleviate symptoms of mental disorders. This book, written by international experts, describes and explores the theory and practice of exercise intervention for different mental disorde...
Article
OBJECTIVE: It has been suggested that social engagement plays an important role in the cognitive function of older adults. However, the extent to which social engagement in later-life is uniquely associated with healthy cognitive function, after having controlled for traditional cognitive reserve variables, is unclear. In this investigation, we aim...
Article
Drs. Ratner and Atkinson provide a thoughtful critique of popular claims about commercial “brain games” but miss some important points. There are more than 51 CCT RCTs, yet undue emphasis is placed on one trial. ACTIVE is presented to illustrate that single-domain training tends not to transfer to other domains. Fortunately, multiple clinical-grade...
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Objective: To quantify the effects of cognitive training (CT) on cognitive and behavioral outcome measures in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Methods: We systematically searched 5 databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CT in patients with PD reporting cognitive or behavioral outcomes. Efficacy was measured as standardized mean...