Category: stroke

PTs On Top of the World: Nepal Conference Set for November

If you’ve ever felt like shouting the benefits of physical therapy from the highest mountain, now’s your chance: the Nepal Physiotherapy Association (NPA) has opened registrations for its seventh international conference, to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the Himalayan mountains, November 21-22, 2014.

Clinical physical therapists (PTs), educators, and students are invited to submit abstracts on research for possible presentation at the conference, which will combine academic activities and social events. Featured speakers to date hail from the US, Norway, India, Australia, and Poland.

Full story of PT Nepal conference at ATPA

New Review Says Virtual Reality, Gaming for Individuals Poststroke Provide ‘Moderate Advantage’ Over Conventional Therapy

In a study they describe as the first to incorporate analyses of International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Heath (ICF) data, researchers make a cautious assertion that for individuals poststroke, the use of virtual reality—including commercially available video game systems—produces “a significant moderate advantage” in ICF outcomes compared with conventional therapies.

The findings were the result of an analysis of 26 randomized controlled trials that focused on the use of virtual reality (VR) to augment or replace conventional therapy in populations largely or solely comprising individuals poststroke. Of the studies analyzed, 4 focused on the use of commercially available gaming platforms such as the Nintendo Wii, while the rest used more specialized virtual environment (VE) equipment designed for rehabilitation. The study was published in the March 28, 2014, edition of PLoS ONE.

Full story of virtual reality gaming for stroke patients at APTA

Section Nominations Being Accepted for Invitational CPG Workshop

APTA sections have until May 2 to nominate individuals for an association program that will help them develop clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). Successful nominees will be invited to participate in a free July workshop that will address both the big picture and nuts-and-bolts of CPG creation.

The July 23-25 workshop will be held at APTA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and will include a pre-workshop assignment, presentation of a CPG development methodology, and interactive discussion on how to apply the methodology to successfully develop CPGs for the physical therapist profession. This is the third year the association has offered the program.

Full story on the CPG workshop at APTA

Health Professions Regulation Conference Will Look at High-Risk Industry Examples

What do pilots, deep sea oil rig workers, and physical therapists have in common? More than you might think, particularly when it comes to regulation.

The World Health Professions Regulation Conference in May will include a keynote address by Professor Rhona Flin, a director of a UK-based industrial psychology research center, who will explore the connection between health care and high-risk industries by showing how failures in communication and decision-making can trigger adverse results. The address is part of the conference, titled “Health Professional Regulation—Facing Challenges to Act in the Public Interest” and set for May 17-18 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Full story of high risk health profession at APTA

Treadmill Training’s Benefits Mixed for Individuals Poststroke

For people who have had a stroke and are unable to walk at the outset of treatment, treadmill training is not likely to aid their progress toward walking independently—but for patients with stroke who are ambulatory, the intervention may significantly improve endurance and speed. These were the broad conclusions reached in a recent review of 44 trials and 2,658 participants.

The research, to be published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(abstract only available for free at this time), focused on “randomized or quasi-randomized controlled and crossover trials of treadmill training and body weight support, individually or in combinations, for the treatment of walking after stroke.” Authors focused on outcomes related to walking speed, endurance, and dependency.

Full story of treadmill training at APTA

Sitting Connected With Heart Failure in Men

The flurry of news and magazine articles last year proclaiming that “sitting is the new smoking” may have been a bit hyperbolic, but apparently there’s at least 1 thing a sedentary lifestyle has in common with tobacco use: increased risk of heart failure in men, even with low to moderate exercise.

The conclusion is drawn from an article (abstract only available for free) recently published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, and has received wide attention in newspapers and other media. The study focused on lifestyles of 84,170 men aged 45 to 69 and the incidence of heart failure (HF) over time. Researchers found that while high rates of physical activity did reduce risk of HF, low to moderate exercise had less of an impact on HF rates among men who also spent relatively long periods of time sitting.

Full story on connected heart failure at APTA

FDA approves new diabetes medication

We now know that there’s much more to pain than simply what is happening in the painful body part, and attention has turned to the role of the brain. But not even this mysterious organ can tell us everything we need to know about pain, at least not yet.

You may wonder why the brain is part of the discussion about pain at all. After all, we’re not talking about a brain disease such as Alzheimer’s or stroke.

But we think that the brain is actually the best place to look when trying to understand pain; after all, pain is a purely subjective experience.

The problem is that pain cannot be “seen”. While a flinch, a limp, or a grimace may provide us with clues, ultimately we only know that someone is in pain if they tell us they are.

And it doesn’t necessarily make sense to only consider the part of the body that’s sore – sometimes people report pain in a body part that no longer exists, known as phantom limb pain.

Full story of FDA approving new diabetes drug at the Los Angeles Times

U.S. Stroke Deaths Fell 30% Over Past Decade

Stroke deaths in the United States have been dropping for more than 100 years and have declined 30 percent in the past 11 years, a new report reveals.

Sometimes called a brain attack, stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability.

Stroke, however, has slipped from the third-leading cause of death in the United States to the fourth-leading cause. This, and a similar decline in heart disease, is one of the 10 great public-health achievements of the 20th century, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even so, there is still more to be done, said George Howard, a professor of biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Howard is co-author of a scientific statement describing the factors influencing the decline in stroke deaths. The statement is scheduled for publication in the journal Stroke.

“Stroke has been declining since 1900, and this could be a result of changes leading to fewer people having a stroke or because people are less likely to die after they have a stroke,” Howard said in a university news release. “Nobody really knows why, but several things seem to be contributing to fewer deaths from stroke.”

Full story of stroke death rates at Web MD