Dr Niruthikha Mahendran
University of Canberra
Imagine, if we could prescribe exercise in the same way we prescribe medication? Dr Mahendran’s research primarily explores the concept of physical activity as the new ‘drug’ to assist people with stroke to overcome health complications and reduce their risk of chronic diseases and new ways of optimising the way we treat people with neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke). We are still unsure of how much exercise is ‘good enough’ for people with neurological conditions. Also, with our ageing population, we need to ensure that we are being effective and efficient with our rehabilitation practices, to ensure that our patients are being setup for the best outcome. Dr Mahendran is working on several projects including investigating physical activity as an intervention to reduce fatigue and chronic disease risk after stroke, and an investigation of loss of strength in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Niruthikha has spent time mentoring clinical educators in the ACT and rural NSW, as well as clinicians at ACT-Health in how to conduct research and obtaining research funding. She has been an invited speaker for the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Professional development series and given talks to the public on topics such as “What happens after stroke?” and “Updates in walking recovery following stroke”.