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Dr. Lara Mc Manus
Research Assistant Professor, Clinical Medicine


Dr Lara McManus is a Principal Investigator in the Academic Unit of Neurology, working in the EXG research group. She is also a Royal Society-Science Foundation Ireland Research Fellow and a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine. Her research applies an engineering approach to analyse electrophysiological signals from the brain and muscle, using this information to gain a window into the function of the nervous system. She is particularly interested in how we can use these recordings to gain new insights into conditions where normal motor control is disrupted (in stroke, fatigue, in Parkinson"s disease and in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, also known as motor neurone disease). Her recent work has focused on developing new methodologies to extract information from high density electromyographic (EMG) signals, which allows the electrical activity of motor units within the muscle to be directly examined. This information is extremely useful for understanding motor function and neurodegenerative diseases, as motor neurons are the final pathway through which activation signals from the brainstem/spinal cord are transmitted to muscle. Dr McManus's current project will use high density electrode grids to examine the neuroelectric signalling between the brain and motor neurons in ALS. This project will be the first to incorporate direct estimates from motor units to examine brain-muscle connectivity in ALS. These connectivity markers have the potential to enable us to quantify different aspects of ALS that cannot currently be measured or assessed and may facilitate the detection of early signs of motor unit dysfunction. They will be used to develop precision-medicine based biomarkers of disease that can be incorporated into ALS clinical trials. Dr McManus is funded by a Royal Society-Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellowship and a Biomedical Project Grant from the UK Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

McManus L., Lowery M., Merletti R., Sogaard K., Besomi M., Clancy E.A., van Dieen J.H., Hug F., Wrigley T., Besier T., Carson R.G., Disselhorst-Klug C., Enoka R.M., Falla D., Farina D., Gandevia S., Holobar A., Kiernan M.C., McGill K., Perreault E., Rothwell J.C., Tucker K., Hodges P.W., Consensus for experimental design in electromyography (CEDE) project: Terminology matrix, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 59, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI TARA - Full Text

McMackin, R., Dukic, S., Costello, E., Pinto-Grau, M., McManus, L., Broderick, M., Chipika, R., Iyer, P.M., Heverin, M., Bede, P., Muthuraman, M., Pender, N., Hardiman, O., and Nasseroleslami, B., Cognitive Network Hyperactivation and Motor Cortex Decline Correlate with ALS Prognosis, Neurobiology of Aging, 104, 2021, p57 - 70 Journal Article, 2021

Doheny E.P., Goulding C., Flood M.W., McManus L., Lowery M.M., Feature-Based Evaluation of a Wearable Surface EMG Sensor against Laboratory Standard EMG during Force-Varying and Fatiguing Contractions, IEEE Sensors Journal, 20, (5), 2020, p2757 - 2765, p2757-2765 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

McManus L., De Vito G., Lowery M.M., Analysis and Biophysics of Surface EMG for Physiotherapists and Kinesiologists: Toward a Common Language With Rehabilitation Engineers, Frontiers in Neurology, 11, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Senneff S., McManus L., Lowery M.M., Investigating the Effect of Persistent Inward Currents on Motor Unit Firing Rates and Beta-Band Coherence in a Model of the First Dorsal Interosseous Muscle, 2019, pp2293 - 2296 Conference Paper, 2019 DOI

McManus L., Flood M.W., Lowery M.M., Beta-band motor unit coherence and nonlinear surface EMG features of the first dorsal interosseous muscle vary with force, Journal of Neurophysiology, 122, (3), 2019, p1147 - 1162, p1147-1162 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

McManus L., Botelho D.P., Flood M.W., Lowery M.M., The Influence of Force Level and Motor Unit Coherence on Nonlinear Surface EMG Features Examined Using Model Simulation, 2019, pp6616 - 6619 Conference Paper, 2019 DOI

McManus L., Hu X., Rymer W.Z., Suresh N.L., Lowery M.M., Motor unit activity during fatiguing isometric muscle contraction in hemispheric stroke survivors, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

McManus L., Hu X., Rymer W.Z., Suresh N.L., Lowery M.M., Muscle fatigue increases beta-band coherence between the firing times of simultaneously active motor units in the first dorsal interosseous muscle, Journal of Neurophysiology, 115, (6), 2016, p2830 - 2839, p2830-2839 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

McManus L., Hu X., Rymer W.Z., Lowery M.M., Suresh N.L., Changes in motor unit behavior following isometric fatigue of the first dorsal interosseous muscle, Journal of Neurophysiology, 113, (9), 2015, p3186 - 3196, p3186-3196 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

McManus L.M., Hu X., Rymer W.Z., Suresh N.L., Lowery M.M., Fatigue-related alterations to intra-muscular coherence, 2015-July, 2015, pp902 - 905 Conference Paper, 2015 DOI

Budini F., McManus L.M., Berchicci M., Menotti F., Macaluso A., Di Russo F., Lowery M.M., De Vito G., Alpha band cortico-muscular coherence occurs in healthy individuals during mechanically-induced tremor, PLoS ONE, 9, (12), 2014 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

McManus L.M., Budini F., Di Russo F., Berchicci M., Menotti F., Macaluso A., De Vito G., Lowery M.M., Analysis of the effects of mechanically induced tremor on EEG-EMG coherence using wavelet and partial directed coherence, 2013, pp561 - 564 Conference Paper, 2013 DOI