‘Concussion pill’ shows promise in pre-clinical pilot study

In 2016, funded by a $16 million grant from Scythian, the multidisciplinary Miller School team embarked on a five-year study to examine the effects of combining CBD (a cannabinoid derivative of hemp) with an NMDA antagonist (an anesthetic used in animals and humans) for the treatment of traumatic brain injury and concussion. The researchers believed the combination could reduce post-injury brain cell inflammation, headache, pain and other symptoms associated with concussion.

The findings of a pre-clinical pilot study were recently released, and they show that the combination therapy improved the cognitive functions of animals, compared with those treated with a single vehicle. In addition, there were no adverse effects from either the combination therapy or the individual components.

“There needs to be more systematic research in this field in order to study the neuroprotective properties of CBD, and to improve treatment for those sustaining mild-to-moderate TBI (traumatic brain injury) and concussion,” said Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery, and director of the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project and the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute concussion program.

Full story at Medical Xpress

What’s the Best Post-TKA Intervention in the Acute Care Setting? There’s No Easy Answer, Say Researchers

For patients who undergo total knee arthroplasty (TKA), this much is known: physical therapy in the acute care setting is a key component in successful rehabilitation. What’s not so easy to pinpoint are the individual interventions associated with the best outcomes, according to authors of a new systematic review. Their investigation into 20 years’ worth of clinical trials and other studies revealed no clear standout interventions but did find “very low” evidence for the use of cryotherapy, accelerated rehabilitation, and neurostimulation within the first 7 postoperative days (PODs).

The study, published in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy, involved extensive reviews of research published between 1996 and 2016 on various physical therapy-related interventions used in the acute care setting post-TKA. Authors were on the lookout for evidence of effectiveness of a particular approach, because, they write, “despite seemingly routine use of physical therapy and its potential importance in reducing complications after [total joint replacement] in the acute hospital setting, no approach to rehabilitation in this setting appears to be standard.”

Full story at APTA

What to know about bone fracture repair

A fracture is a broken bone. Doctors will use different methods to repair bone fractures depending on their location, type, and severity.

Fractures can be complete or partial. Some require surgery or metal plates, while others may only need a brace.

Everyone who experiences a fractured bone will heal differently. The healing process will depend on the nature and extent of the injury, the stability of fracture fixation, and biological processes, so a proper healing process is crucial.

Full story at Medical News Today

15-minutes of exercise creates optimal brain state for mastering new motor skills

If you want to learn to walk a tightrope, it’s a good idea to go for a short run after each practice session. That’s because a recent study in NeuroImage demonstrates that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new motor skill improves its long-term retention. More specifically, the research shows, for the first time, that as little as a single fifteen-minute bout of cardiovascular exercise increases brain connectivity and efficiency. It’s a discovery that could, in principle, accelerate recovery of motor skills in patients who have suffered a stroke or who face mobility problems following an injury.

In his earlier work, Marc Roig, the senior author on the study, had already demonstrated that exercise helps consolidate muscle or motor memory. What he and the McGill-based research team sought to discover this time was why exactly this was the case. What was going on in the brain, as the mind and the muscles interacted? What was it that helped the body retain motor skills?

Full story at McGill University Newsroom

Following pitch count guidelines may help young baseball players prevent injuries

Young pitchers who exceed pitch count limits are more prone to elbow injuries, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. Season statistics of players were compared relative to pitch count limits established by the Japanese Society of Clinical Sports Medicine.

“Our research focused on 149 young pitchers ranging in age from 7 to 11 who had no prior elbow pain,” commented lead author Toshiyuki Iwame, MD, from Tokushima University in Tokushima, Japan. “We found those who reported elbow pain after the season were associated with pitching numbers beyond current throwing guidelines.”

Researchers asked the players to complete a questionnaire after the season, which showed 66 (44.3%) experienced pain. Multivariate analysis showed that throwing more than 50 pitches per day (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.22-4.94), 200 pitches per week (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.03-4.10), and 70 games per year (OR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.24-5.02), the baselines established by the JSCSM, were risk factors for pain.

Full story at Science Daily

OB-GYN Group Embraces ‘Fourth Trimester’ Concept, Acknowledges Role of Physical Therapy in Postpartum Care

A task force for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says it’s time to frame postpartum care as an “ongoing process” requiring a personalized, cross-disciplinary approach—including the use of physical therapy when appropriate. APTA and its Section on Women’s Health have registered strong support of the recommendations.

In a committee opinion issued in May, ACOG’s Presidential Task Force on Redefining the Postpartum Visit embraced the concept of the “fourth trimester,” the idea that mother and child need ongoing care through at least the first 12 weeks after delivery. According to the task force, the fourth-trimester concept stands in contrast to the practice of an “arbitrary” single encounter with a primary care provider, often at 6 weeks after giving birth.

Full story at APTA

‘Our brains want to chase these rewards’: how video games are transforming physiotherapy

At 65, Arthur Halls is dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, severe angina, coronary blockage of the heart and hypertension – together these things have severely impacted his way of life. “Two years ago, there was very little I could do,” says Halls. “With your lungs and your heart and that, you’ve got to be very very careful.”

But that changed after he began fall-prevention therapy with the Medical Interactive Recovery System, or Mira, which uses video games for physical rehabilitation. Through a series of games that get users to do the kind of moves they’d normally be doing in physiotherapy, Halls feels like he can do a lot more.

“It’s about building the confidence up,” he says. “Now I have the confidence to do these games without any serious damage, unless I was very stupid and did something strenuous.”

Full story at The Guardian

SKINNY FAT BODY TYPE LINKED TO DEMENTIA RISK IN STUDY

Being so-called skinny fat could pose a double threat to brain health according to a study into the causes of dementia.

As we age, we naturally lose muscle tissue in a process called sarcopenia. And neurologists believe the combination of low muscle mass and high body fat known as skinny fat, or sarcopenic obesity, could be a predictor of poor brain function in older people.

To investigate this potential link, researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Comprehensive Center for Brain Health in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine recruited 353 participants with an average age of 69 years old.

Full story at Newsweek

Team sports have ancient roots

Competitive team games in which men test their mettle against others are universal across the world, and may have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Among hunter-gatherers, these games enable men to hone their physical skills and stamina, assess the commitment of their team members, and see how each performs under pressure. All these activities suggest motivation to practise skills involved in lethal raiding, says Michelle Scalise Sugiyama of the University of Oregon in the US, lead author of a study in Springer’s journal Human Nature.

Play behavior in humans and other animals is thought to have evolved as a way to develop, rehearse, and refine skills that are critical for survival or reproduction. Chase games, for instance, build stamina and speed, which is helpful for evading predators. Similarly, play fighting is believed to develop skills used in actual fighting. Although many animals play fight, only people do so in teams. The study’s findings suggest that team play fighting is not a recent invention of agricultural societies.

Full story at Science Daily

Woman with Cerebral Palsy Climbs Tallest Mountain in Africa

Expeditions can challenge anyone. However, no matter how challenging, a physically difficult goal is beneficial for people with cerebral palsy. Working on controlling, strengthening, and loosening muscles helps with learning patterns, which can increase coordination. Many people with disabilities participate in a variety of sports and extreme physical activities. And one woman who has cerebral palsy has taken the idea of a physical expedition to a whole new level and challenge.

Imagine waking up and deciding that you were going to climb the tallest mountain in Africa — the elevation is 19,341 feet. Not many people choose to exert so much physical effort. I don’t think I would be brave enough to conquer any mountain, and certainly not the tallest one in Africa. Now imagine being almost 40 years old, having cerebral palsy, and wanting to climb the mountain. Cerebral palsy is a disability that makes moving muscles in the intended direction very difficult.

Full story at Cerebral Palsy News Today