Category: stroke

Study finds dopamine, biological clock link to snacking, overeating and obesity

Coinciding with this increase in weight are ever-rising rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and health complications caused by obesity, such as hypertension. Even Alzheimer’s disease may be partly attributable to obesity and physical inactivity.

“The diet in the U.S. and other nations has changed dramatically in the last 50 years or so, with highly processed foods readily and cheaply available at any time of the day or night,” Ali Güler, a professor of biology at the University of Virginia, said. “Many of these foods are high in sugars, carbohydrates and calories, which makes for an unhealthy diet when consumed regularly over many years.”

In a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, Güler and his colleagues demonstrate that the pleasure center of the brain that produces the chemical dopamine, and the brain’s separate biological clock that regulates daily physiological rhythms, are linked, and that high-calorie foods — which bring pleasure — disrupt normal feeding schedules, resulting in overconsumption. Using mice as study models, the researchers mimicked the 24/7 availability of a high-fat diet, and showed that anytime snacking eventually results in obesity and related health problems.

Read full article at Science Daily

Time to Act: Surprise Coding Complication Ignores Realities of PT Practice and Must be Changed

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled an unwelcome New Year’s Day surprise for outpatient therapy providers, including private practitioners and facility-based settings, when it announced it will no longer allow two frequently used therapy billing codes to be used in combination with evaluation codes. It’s a decision that flies in the face of standard PT practice and effective patient care—and CMS and the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) contractor need to hear that perspective loud and clear, from as many stakeholders as possible as soon as possible.

At issue are current procedural terminology (CPT) codes 97530 (therapeutic activities) and 97150 (therapeutic procedures, group, 2 or more individuals) which, until January 1, were allowed to be billed on the same day as physical therapy or occupational therapy evaluation. Under new CMS NCCI edits, however, that’s no longer allowed. And in a further complication, the latest NCCI edits also require use of the 59 modifier—the modifier that’s used to indicate that a code represents a service that is separate and distinct from another service to which it is paired—whenever code 97140 (manual therapy) is billed with an evaluation.

Full article at APTA

Yoga and physical therapy as treatment for chronic lower back pain also improves sleep

Yoga and physical therapy (PT) are effective approaches to treating co-occurring sleep disturbance and back pain while reducing the need for medication, according to a new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC). Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the research showed significant improvements in sleep quality lasting 52 weeks after 12 weeks of yoga classes or 1-on-1 PT, which suggests a long-term benefit of these non-pharmacologic approaches. In addition, participants with early improvements in pain after 6 weeks of treatment were three and a half times more likely to have improvements in sleep after the full, 12-week treatment, highlighting that pain and sleep are closely related.

Sleep disturbance and insomnia are common among people with chronic low back pain (cLBP). Previous research showed that 59% of people with cLBP experience poor sleep quality and 53% are diagnosed with insomnia disorder. Medication for both sleep and back pain can have serious side effects, and risk of opioid-related overdose and death increases with use of sleep medications.

Full article at Medical Xpress

Physician Owned? Corporate? Independent? Panel Event to Focus on PT Models of Practice

Few would argue that health care in the United States has experienced significant change over the past few years—but do those changes require a new look at practice models for physical therapists (PTs)? That’s the question at the heart of an event cosponsored by APTA and Arcadia University set for the evening of January 9, 2020, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm ET.

The panel presentation, Practice Revolution: Physician Owned, Corporate, Health Care Systems, Independent, and More, will include presentations from APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, and Bill Boissonault, PT, DPT, DHSc, APTA executive vice president of professional affairs, as well as APTA members Jennifer Gamboa, PT, DPTPatrick Graham, PT, MBA; and Michael Horsfield, PT, MBA. The PT panelists will be joined by neurosurgeon Ryan Grant, MD, and Louis Levitt, MD, MEd, vice president of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. Past APTA President Paul Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, will serve as panel moderator.

Full story at APTA

6 Non-Clinical Skills of the School-Based Physical Therapist

As a school-based physical therapist, I wear many hats. Movement expert, advocate, safety police, that guy who runs around playing tag on the playground. In addition to these, I have the opportunity to build many non-clinical skills in my role serving students. Here are six non-clinical skills used by school-based physical therapists, and how to apply them outside of your clinical role!

Six non-clinical skills used by the school-based physical therapist

1) Collaboration with key stakeholders

This is a big one.

The success of my students in accessing their education depends in large part on my ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with a wide-ranging team of individuals.

Full article at The Non-Clinical PT

Teen Can Return to School After Undergoing Free Surgery to Correct Her Extreme Bow-Leggedness

These incredible before and after photos show the transformation of a teenager who was given free surgery to correct her extremely bowed legs.

14-year-old Valerie—who surgeons declined to fully name—developed bowed legs at the age of four and had such low self-confidence, she convinced her parents to pull her out of school.

She joined her uncle’s tailoring shop as an apprentice and worked hard, despite the fact that her harshly-angled legs arched outwards from her hips, making it difficult for her to walk.

The talented seamstress was busy sewing when a customer told her that a hospital boat operated by the charity Mercy Ships had docked near her West African home in Cotonou, Benin.

Full story at Good News Network

11 Ways Physical Therapists Help Slow the Progression of Parkinson’s Disease

It is well-known that exercise of any kind is good for each person’s health, both body and mind. But did you know that it is even more important for those living with Parkinson’s disease? Physical therapy is key to slowing down the disease. And it helps those affected to stay as independent as possible.

Improving mobility, strength, and balance

Staying mobile and self-sufficient is top of mind for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Stiffness is also a known problem with the disease. This rigidity can cause poor posture and pain that leads to other functional problems. A physical therapist can help with these problems. PTs guide people with Parkinson’s through moves and stretches to increase mobility, strength, and balance.

Full story at Choose PT

One in three U.S. high schools have no athletic trainers

One in every three high schools in the U.S. has no access to an athletic trainer, according to a large study.

Even among the schools with some access, in roughly half the trainer is only part-time, the researchers report in the Journal of Athletic Training.

“Every athlete who participates in sport at the high school level deserves the best when it comes to emergency best practices and athletic injuries,” said lead author Robert Huggins of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.

Athletic trainers provide emergency and non-emergency care for athletes and are the main healthcare professionals trained in injury prevention for physical activity. At the high school level, they coordinate care and follow-up, conduct rehabilitation and return players to the game. They help with concussions, orthopedic injuries, eating disorders, heat illnesses, heart issues, weight management, diabetic episodes and substance abuse concerns.

Full story at Reuters

Beyond Opioids: The Future of Pain Management

March 14, 2018 — Cindi Scheib wanted to die.

A three-day weekend spent jumping and dancing on Labor Day 2014 had left her with a neck injury – specifically the cervical spine – that was possibly an exacerbation of an unrecognized mountain biking injury earlier that year. To make matters worse, her doctor performed the surgery to fix the injury on the wrong part of her spine.

Now 54, Scheib has lived with constant neck pain and other unusual sensations throughout her body ever since. These sensations, including electrical shocks down her spine, buzzing, vibrating, burning sensations, ringing in her ears and sensitivity to normal noises, had gotten so bad, she said, that “I wanted to go to bed and not wake up tomorrow. This life was so bad, so horrible, that I couldn’t imagine how I was going to live the rest of whatever life I had,” says the Harrisburg, PA, nurse.

Full story at WedMD

How the brain regulates variability in motor functions

Anyone who has ever tried to serve a tennis ball or flip a pancake or even play a video game knows, it is hard to perform the same motion over and over again. But don’t beat yourself up—errors resulting from variability in motor function is a feature, not a bug, of our nervous system and play a critical role in learning, research suggests.

Variability in a tennis serve, for example, allows a player to see the effects of changing the toss of the ball, the swing of the racket, or the angle of the serve—all of which may lead to a better performance. But what if you’re serving ace after ace after ace? Variability in this case would not be very helpful.

If variability is good for learning but bad when you want to repeat a successful action, the brain should be able to regulate variability based on recent performance. But how?

Full story at Medical Xpress