From PT in Motion Magazine: How to Defend Yourself Against Scams and Cyberattacks

As technology and information sharing evolves at a rapid pace, it becomes harder to keep up with criminals and scammers—even if you are an experienced professional. Last year, a staggering 83% of physicians said they had experienced some form of cyberattack, according to an American Medical Association report. What kind of scams are out there? What should you be wary of? What new threats are emerging?

A feature in this month’s PT in Motion magazine describes common cybercrimes and scams, including data breaches, phishing, and ransomware. Author Katherine Malmo reports that cyberattacks happen to more organizations than we might think, since people don’t want to share their experiences. Robert Latz, PT, DPT, told PT in Motion, “The question is less if there will be a breach and more what to do when the breach happens.”

Full story at APTA

Aggressively lowering blood pressure could reduce risk of developing dementia, study finds

The medical mantra that “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain” got more support Wednesday.

Aggressively lowering blood pressure in people at high risk for heart attacks and stroke also reduced their likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often leads to dementia, a new study found.

“This is the first intervention ever to be shown to reduce the risk of MCI,” said Jeff Williamson, who helped lead the study and who co-directs the Alzheimer’s Research Center at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Patients treated to reduce their systolic blood pressure – the top number in a blood pressure reading – to 120 mm Hg were 19 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those whose blood pressure was targeted to 140 mm Hg.

Full story at USA 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

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

‘Smart’ prosthetic ankle takes the pain out of stairs

Researchers have created a “smart” prosthetic ankle that moves with the user to tackle one of the main challenges with current prosthetic ankles: stairs and irregular terrain.

It’s virtually impossible to know Mike Sasser’s left leg is a prosthetic one—after a decade of practice, he moves surely and swiftly through his busy days as a consultant and father.

But when Sasser encounters uneven ground or a flight of stairs, he focuses very hard on balance, because that’s when using a prosthetic can mean taking a tumble. For years, he’s been making a difference by testing the “smart” prosthetic ankle, which takes on this problem.

Full story at futurity.org

Father’s and son’s injuries lead to the mother of all therapy bills

“So you have to take your block of wood, shape it, sand it, paint it, use your imagination,” Lopez said, pointing to some favorites from derbies past that sit on a shelf in his home office — cars in the shape of an ice cream cone, a penguin and an Altoids peppermint box.

But one derby project lives in infamy: an S. Pellegrino bottle on wheels. It was the brainchild of his son Theo, then 9, in the fall of 2016, a time when Lopez recalls he was frantically busy at work.

Full story at news-medical.net

‘E-skin’ lets prosthetic hands sense touch and pain

A new electronic “skin” may restore a sense of touch for amputees who use prosthetic hands.

The skin’s inventors say that when the “e-dermis” is layered on top of a prosthetic, it brings back feeling through the fingertips.

“After many years, I felt my hand, as if a hollow shell got filled with life again,” says the anonymous amputee who served as the team’s principal volunteer tester.

Made of fabric and rubber laced with sensors to mimic nerve endings, e-dermis recreates a sense of touch as well as pain by sensing stimuli and relaying the impulses back to the peripheral nerves.

Full story at futurity.org

FLEX CEUs: New CEU Courses

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND PAIN CONDITIONS

Pain in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a very common symptom.  The goals of this CEU course is to examine the occurrence of pain in MS patients, to identify the pain conditions and the relationship to important demographic variables, and to determine its impact on quality of life.  Also discussed in this course is the occurrence of central pain (CP) and its characteristics.

DANCER INJURIES AND WELLNESS

Dance participation, through its athletic nature can introduce risk of injury, but unlike sports, is not always recognized that specialist medicinal provision will assist in the mitigation of that risk.  This CEU course examines the extent of injury in dance participation and the impact that specialist dance medicine provision has on overall dance injury incidence, determines the effects of a ballet class on the levels of inflammation markers, and reviews the development and evaluation of a dancer wellness program.

Free Continuing Education for Life!

Did you know that we have a program available that gives you free continuing education for life? If this sounds like something you’re interested in, just visit https://www.flextherapistceus.com/account-refer.php to get all the details.

Study: Progressive Strengthening Program Shows Promise Over ‘Standard of Care’ Rehab for Patients Post-TKA

Adults 50 and older who undergo TKA may never fully achieve the same function as older adults without knee pain, but a progressive strengthening exercise program may bring them closer to those levels than would the variable approaches considered “standard-of-care,” according to authors of a recent study.

The study compared self-reported function and test performance for 3 groups: 88 adults aged 50 and older without knee or joint pain (and no TKA); 40 adults aged 50 and older who underwent TKA and participated in “standard-of-care” rehabilitation; and 165 adults aged 50 and over who underwent TKA and participated in what authors describe as an outpatient clinic program that “included progressive strengthening exercises that targeted muscle groups in the lower extremity.” Results were published in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice.

The strengthening program was conducted at a University of Delaware physical therapy clinic beginning 3 weeks after TKA, and consisted of at least 12 outpatient visits 2–3 times a week. The visits themselves focused on strengthening exercises that were progressively adjusted to maintain maximal effort for 3 sets of 10 repetitions for all exercises. The “standard of care” group participated in outpatient rehabilitation elsewhere for an average of 23 sessions that mostly focused on range of motion (ROM), stationary cycling, and “various straight-leg raising exercises without weights,” according to the study’s authors.

Full story at APTA