Brain blood vessels health: What is the influence of atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and age?

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm and its incidence increases with age. Atrial fibrillation is associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive decline and dementia. Our research seeks to better understand the precise mechanisms for this. We believe an important potential contributing factor is that the ability of brain blood vessels to tightly control their blood flow is impaired as a result of atrial fibrillation.

We are currently inviting three groups of men and women aged over 50 years to participate, with a particular focus on the third group (healthy individuals).

  1. Patients with atrial fibrillation
  2. Patients with normal heart rhythm but high blood pressure
  3. Healthy individuals with normal heart rhythm and normal blood pressure

Anyone expressing an initial interest in participating is provided with comprehensive study information documents and a follow-up call is scheduled to check the eligibility to participate. The study involves a single experimental visit lasting one morning that will be conducted at the University of Birmingham Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at City Hospital. Travel to the hospital and parking charges will be reimbursed. The study includes a small blood sample, the completion of some questionnaires/quizzes, and the monitoring of your brain blood flow, breathing, and blood pressure.

If you would like to receive further information or have any questions regarding the study, please contact Dr Rehan Junejo on or Dr James Fisher on or on 0121 414 8011.

Read the Participant Information Sheet

Volunteers needed for a study of the effects of sitting time

Researchers in the School of Sport,  Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences would like to know how older people’s bodies and minds respond to physical inactivity.

You will be asked to visit our research facility in the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital on four occasions. The first visit will be a familiarisation visit lasting an hour, the remaining 3 visits will last six hours each. During these longer visits, you will be asked to sit for different periods of time. Before and after the sitting we will ask you to do some simple tests of muscle function and tests of thinking and memory.

If you are aged 70 years or over and think you might be interested, please contact Dr Carolyn Greig directly by telephoning 0121 414 8743 or, Dr Sandra Agyapong-Badu via e-mail to for more information (making an enquiry does not commit you to taking part!). Travel expenses will be refunded.

Read the Participant Information Sheet

Defining the role of lysosomal movement in age‐associated anabolic resistance in human skeletal muscle

We are currently recruiting participants for an exciting and novel research project in which we aim to understand why skeletal muscle of elderly individuals respond less to feeding and exercise compared to young individuals. This dampened response has been termed anabolic resistance and is believed to play a key role in the development of age-associated muscle loss (i.e. sarcopenia). Sarcopenia, which occurs independently of health status, leads to increased frailty, loss of mobility, an increased risk of falls and fractures and ultimately, a diminished quality of life.

By understanding why anabolic resistance occurs in elderly individuals, we hope that we will be able to develop interventions that can overcome this condition, thereby preventing the occurrence of sarcopenia. Thus, the overarching aim of this research is to improve the quality of life for a very large population of elderly individuals.

If you are eligible and willing to participate, you would be invited to four study visits. During these visits, you would perform resistance exercise and have your leg strength and body composition measured. During the last visit, you would also have muscle and blood samples taken to measure your specific response to feeding and exercise.

You may be eligible to participate if you are a healthy male aged between 65 and 75 years, have a BMI between 18 and 25 (check here:, are a non-smoker and of good general health.

For completing the study you would receive £200 remuneration for your time. In addition, you will get detailed information about your body composition and fitness level as well as access to the professional expertise of the research team on topics such as nutrition and exercise. Lastly, you will have the very rare benefit of knowing exactly how well you respond to exercise and food intake.

For more information, please contact DrWilliam Apro on or on 07572847201.

Read the full Participant Information Sheet – PIS v2 Lysotrack-ageing

Older adult representative required for executive board

We have recently been awarded a large grant from the NHS to look at muscle loss in patients with various chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic liver disease. The grant will also try to find new treatments for these diseases.

One important aspect of the work is to have patient and public representatives on our executive board. These will be patients with these diseases but also older adults. We have one vacancy for an older adult and if you would be interested in doing this please email me and give a brief paragraph on why you would like to do this and please respond by Monday the 3rd of April 2017, I will then contact the selected person by Wednesday the 5th of April 2017.

This is not a paid position though we can cover travel expenses. The Terms of Reference for the post is attached below. The first meeting is on Friday 28th of April 2017 and there will be 2 further meetings this year and thereafter 2 per year. The commitment would be for 5 years if possible.

Read the Terms of Reference (Draft)

Investigating links between sedentary behaviour, physical activity and spinal function

We are recruiting volunteers for a novel study looking at how sedentary behaviour and physical activity is linked to the function of the spine. We will be looking at your muscle stiffness, spinal joint mobility and your overall function through a serious of tasks. We will also monitor your general activity and movement behaviour during a week. The study is non-invasive and we will do all of the testing in one initial visit.

Who are we recruiting?

  • Anyone aged 60 years and over.
  • Living in the Birmingham area.
  • Able to come to the University of Birmingham.

You will be reimbursed for your travel, and invited to a second feedback session with refreshments!

If you would be interested in taking part in this study then please get in contact with Molly Browne by email: or phone 07537886039

Read Participant Information Sheet

Does lifelong exercise preserve muscle function and health in masters athletes?

**This is a re-advertisement**

The aim of this study is to characterise the extent to which muscle function and muscle health are preserved when individuals have continued to exercise throughout their lifetime.

The individuals we are aiming to recruit for the study are males aged between 60-80 years of age. To take part you must be healthy, non-smoker, non-diabetic, no muscular dystrophy, normal activity (not partaking in structured training).

The study will involve two testing visits to the School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Birmingham, where you will undergo an assessment of body composition (amount of fat and muscle), muscle strength, muscle function and aerobic fitness. You will also be willing to undergo a single muscle biopsy, blood sample and ultrasound analysis of muscle architecture.

In return you will gain an in-depth analysis of how much fat and muscle you have and how dense your bones are, and access to expertise and advice from world-leaders in the field of exercise physiology, nutrition and metabolism.

If you would like to volunteer or want further information, please contact James McKendry at or call 07879 332 731

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide and Skeletal Muscle Metabolic Phenotype (NADMet)

Still recruiting volunteers….

We are looking for participants for our clinical study looking at the metabolic benefits of increasing NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) biosynthesis in skeletal muscle, via Nicotinamide Riboside supplementation,  in human ageing, as a target tissue for susceptibility to age-related disease, frailty and incapacity.

If you are male and aged 70-80 years of age and have none of the following…

  • Significant past medical history including diabetes mellitus, heart disease, previous stroke, lung disease requiring treatment, epilepsy
  • High blood pressure (Bp 160/100mmHg)
  • Blood thinning drugs like Warfarin, Rivaroxaban, Dabigatran or Clopidogrel therapy which will increase the risk of bruising following a muscle biopsy,

…then please contact Dr Yasir Elhassan on either (0121) 415 8705 or

Read the Participant Information Sheet