Dr Monica Busse
Telephone:+44 (0)29 206 87559
Location:Room 2F08, Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus, Cardiff, CF14 4XN
As a physiotherapist, I have a specific interest in exercise and physical activity for people with chronic health conditions with a particular focus on the development of targeted physical interventions in neurodegenerative diseases, most specifically Huntington’s disease (HD). I lead the Cardiff HD Physiotherapy Group (www.activehd.co.uk) and in this role, I interact closely in a clinical and research capacity with the Cardiff HD Centre (http://medicine.cf.ac.uk/psychological-medicine-neuroscience/areas-research/huntingtons-disease-centre/) and the Brain Repair Group (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biosi/staffinfo/dunnett/index.html), Cardiff University. My specific expertise is in the assessment and management of mobility problems and falls, defining contents of physiotherapy interventions, methodologies for appropriate assessment of outcomes in complex health conditions and promotion of physical activity for health (along with behaviour change applications).
Our group is actively involved in developments in the field of HD, physical activity and rehabilitation with established collaborations with researchers across the United Kingdom, Europe and USA. Working closely with people with HD and their families as part of the research process is very important to us and we have established the Wales HD Involving People Group with a view to ensuring that our work is always relevant and applicable to the needs of the HD community. We have now successfully conducted and published data from the first randomised and controlled multi-centre studies investigating different physiotherapy and exercise interventions for HD (MOVE TO EXERCISE, TRAIN-HD and COMMET-HD). This work has led to further funding for exercise intervention trials related in HD. ENGAGE-HD is a trial that aims to develop psychosocial support systems for changing physical activity behaviours whilst ExERT-HD will test the benefit of aerobic exercise training protocols in HD. The growing recognition of the importance of physical activity and physiotherapy in HD is further evidenced by the FP-7 funded programme of work being conducted in REPAIR-HD (http://www.repair-hd.eu/) where I am a principle investigator along with a consortia of researchers based in Germany, France and Italy.
I am co-lead facilitator of the European Huntington's Disease Network (EHDN) Physiotherapy working group. One of the major projects in which I have been involved as part of the Physiotherapy WG is the development of a European Physiotherapy Guidance document as well as clinical tips for health professionals working with people with HD. The documents incorporate basic science and clinical research to date, as well as expert consensus, for physiotherapy interventions targeted at early, middle, late stages and juvenile HD. This work has required large scale collaboration from physiotherapists working across Europe in the field of HD and has resulted in the establishment of an international group of physiotherapy academics and clinicians working together to further develop existing evidence in support of physiotherapy for people with HD.