I have a First Class Honours degree in Science (from University of Cape Town) with a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from University of New England and a PhD in Music from University of Newcastle, so have a blend of the sciences and arts. I have developed a particular interest in choral singing with a focus on adolescent choirs in high schools. I have also started a podcast to teach new parents how to sing lullabies and wish to take this into further areas of research.
Noakes TD, Van Gend M, 'Menstral dysfunction in female athletes: A review for clinicians', South African Medical Journal, 73 350-355 (1988)
A critical review of factors considered to cause menstrual dysfunction is women athletes with no overt organic cause for the abnormality is presented. Evidence suggests that altho... [more]
A critical review of factors considered to cause menstrual dysfunction is women athletes with no overt organic cause for the abnormality is presented. Evidence suggests that although regular exercise can produce a specific change in hypothalamic-pituitary function, in particular reduced pulsatile luteinising hormone secretion, this is not associated with amenorrhoea or oligomenorrhoea in the majority of female athletes, most of whom continue to menstruate cyclically. Thus additional factors must be operative. It seems probable that severe menstrual dysfunction occurs in a specific predisposed subset of women athletes who have a particular personality type or body build and are attracted to a lifestyle including regular vigorous exercise. The biochemical basis may be related to hypothalamic, pituitary or even ovarian dysfunction possibly due to elevated levels of anti-reproductive hormones, including ß-endorphins, dopamine, prolactin and catechol oestrogens, induced by exercise; dopamine appears the most likely candidate. Chronic hypo-oestrogenic or eu-oestrogenic amenorrhoea or oligomenorrhoea may not be benign and should probably be treated in order to reduce the risk of osteoporosis or endometrial hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma.
Scopus - 10
Van Gend MA, Noakes TD, 'Menstrual patterns in ultramarathon runners', South African Medical Journal, 72 788-793 (1987)
The menstrual status of 70 female ultramarathon runners who were neither pregnant, menopausal or on contraceptive medication was examined and compared with: (I) their menstrual st... [more]
The menstrual status of 70 female ultramarathon runners who were neither pregnant, menopausal or on contraceptive medication was examined and compared with: (I) their menstrual status before they began running; and (II) that of a sedentary comparison group. Compared with their pre-running menstrual status, the overall incidence of chronic menstrual dysfunction (oligo- or amenorrhoea) was unchanged (9%) and was only slightly higher than that of the comparison group (7%). Those likely to develop chronic menstrual dysfunction tended to be younger, had started running at a young age, trained over a long distance each week, had low body weight, had experienced previous menstrual irregularity and tended to be the better performers. In addition, there was frequently a past history of anorexia nervosa. Short-term menstrual irregularity (any temporary deviation from normal menstrual patterns) was experienced by 41% of the runners during periods of intensive training and competition. Menstrual patterns normalised once these stresses were removed. It is concluded that the menstrual dysfunction found in ultramarathon runners is of two kinds: (I) a short-term irregularity induced by the physical and emotional stresses of competitive ultramarathon running; and (II) chronic menstrual dysfunction which is probably a reflection of a particular life-style, personality type, body build, and, possibly most importantly, nutritional status.
Scopus - 7
Van Gend M, Ward LC, Garrett JL, 'Ornithine decarboxylase activity and actin polymerization in testosterone - Stimulated mouse kidney', Biochemistry International, 13 25-32 (1986)