Health and Fitness

Neuroscientists Hope To Get People Walking Again

Neuroscience researchers at the University of Louisville will be the only team collaborating with an international group of scientists that last week announced they had enabled paralyzed rats to walk while supporting their own weight. Dr. Susan Harkema, the University of Louisville's Owsley Brown Frazier Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation, rehabilitation director at the university's Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC) and the director of research at Frazier Rehab Institute, is evaluating how to translate into humans the success accomplished in the animals. "We have been collaborating with this particular group of researchers for a number of years, " Harkema said. "The results they have shown are very exciting and we look forward to determining how to take their animal findings and move it into applications for humans." The research team at UCLA found that a combination of drugs, electrical stimulation and regular exercise was enough to allow the rats to walk. One of the key things demonstrated is that regeneration of severed nerve fibers is not required for the animals to learn to walk again.

What Is Frozen Shoulder? What Causes Frozen Shoulder? What Is Adhesive Capsulitis?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition in which the articular shoulder capsule (a sac of ligaments surrounding the joint) swells and stiffens, restricting its mobility. It typically affects only one shoulder, but one in five cases affect both. The term "frozen shoulder" is often used incorrectly for arthritis, even though the two conditions are unrelated. Frozen shoulder refers specifically to the shoulder joint, while arthritis may refer to other/multiple joints. The shoulder has a spheroidal joint (ball - and - socket joint), in which the round part of one bone fits into the concavity of another. The proximal humerus (round head of the upper arm bone) fits into socket of the scapula (shoulder blade). Frozen shoulder is thought to cause the formation of scar tissue in the shoulder, which makes the shoulder joint's capsule (not to be confused with the rotator cuff) thicken and tighten, leaving less room for movement. Therefore, movement may be stiff and even painful.

Report Shows Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy May Improve Arm Use In Children With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) is a potentially effective form of intervention for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, but more research is needed, according to a new systematic review published in the November issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The review, which analyzed 21 intervention studies and 2 systematic reviews, concluded that further research should focus on the frequency, duration, and type of constraint used to treat the affected limb. Similar gains may be achieved when both arms are used together during therapy, but there have not as yet been sufficient studies that compare these two types of physical therapy. Moreover, the review concluded that there is insufficient research on the impact of CIMT on a developing child's undamaged brain regions and that more investigation is needed. Hemiplegic cerebral palsy affects one arm and leg on the same side of the body. CIMT forces the use of the affected side, specifically the upper extremity, by gently restraining the unaffected side in a mitt, sling, or cast.

Physical Therapy Students From Across The Nation Gather To Move Profession And Careers Forward

Physical therapy students from across the nation will learn the latest in physical therapist research and treatment techniques during the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA's) 17th Annual National Student Conclave (NSC) at the Hyatt Regency Miami in Miami, FL, October 30 - November 1, 2009. "This conference gives students critical information at a formative stage in their careers, " said APTA Student Assembly President Nate Thomas, PT. "By providing each student with the opportunity to network with leaders in the profession, we are helping them transition into the work force and make the kinds of choices that will advance the profession in the coming years." Highlights include "Meet a Living Legend, " with APTA member physical therapist Steven Wolf, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FAHA, a renowned eresearcher, author, and presenter on stroke; keynote address by Scott Chesney, an international speaker, consultant, and life coach; panel discussions for new professionals, and in-depth clinical sessions on physical therapy specialty areas such as acute care, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, sports, and women's health, in addition to rГ sumГ critiquing and mock interview sessions.

Improving The Lives Of Torture Victims From Around The World

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced its selection of Dr. Uwe Jacobs, clinical and executive director of Survivors International, San Francisco, to receive a Community Health Leaders Award. He is one of 10 extraordinary Americans to receive the RWJF honor for 2009 at a ceremony at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Jacobs has provided therapeutic care to more than 1, 000 individuals who have experienced torture. He is also a leader in efforts to officially recognize and define gender-based violence as torture. "Dr. Jacobs has organized an outstanding interdisciplinary team of individuals from the health professions and the legal profession to help victims of torture to heal and rebuild their lives, " said Janice Ford Griffin, national program director for the award. "He is a leader in the effort to expand the legal definition of torture to encompass individuals who have suffered at the hands of non-uniformed actors." In working with a wide array of people from different nations and backgrounds, and with victims of genocide from around the world, Jacobs realized that a lot of the people who were being persecuted were victims of domestic violence, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking and the threat of honor killings.

GE Healthcare Installs Russia's First GE High-definition CT Scanner At Moscow's Center Of Medical Rehabilitation

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), announced the installation of Russia's first high-definition computed tomography (CT) scanner, GE Healthcare's flagship Discovery CT750HD, at the Center of Medical Rehabilitation by the Russian Ministry of Health in Moscow led by Professor Konstantin V. Lyadov. The Centre of Medical Rehabilitation is the first hospital in Russia to join leading hospitals around the globe in installing this powerful groundbreaking high-definition CT technology. The scanner sets a new standard for CT clarity, allowing clinicians to diagnose quickly and confidently using significantly less x-ray radiation than previous CT scanners. "We are delighted to have the first Discovery CT750 HD in Russia as part of Center of Medical Rehabilitation's investment in cutting edge technology. This exciting development of high definition CT improves our ability to see fine anatomical detail in what can be difficult to image diseases, " said Professor Valentin E.

Some Benefit In Team Rehab For Hip Surgery Patients

Older women who receive rehabilitation services after hip surgery from a variety of health care professionals as inpatients are slightly more likely to do better than those who receive usual hospital care, a new review shows. The authors suggest that such multidisciplinary rehabilitation also might help if applied in patient or caregiver homes. "Because hip fracture is so common, the possible improvement for these 10 percent of patients represents a large number of people, " said review co-author Dr. Ian Cameron at the University of Sydney in Australia. "The trend towards better functioning for people who had rehab is most important, especially since older people fear disability as a result of hip fracture." The review appears in the most recent issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

More Research Needed On Blast Induced Traumatic Brain Injury And Vestibular Pathology In US Military Service Members

Physical therapists are calling for definitive vestibular screenings and assessment measures for US military service members with blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (BITBI). According to a Perspective in the September issue of Physical Therapy, the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), vestibular rehabilitation must be included as part of successful treatment for those who have been injured by blasts and experience vestibular symptoms such as vertigo, gaze instability, and motion intolerance. "Because vestibular pathology affects the individual's balance and sense of motion, definitive treatment guidelines could have a tremendous impact on the success of rehabilitation for a patient with BITBI, " says lead researcher US Army Captain and APTA member Matthew R. Scherer, PT, MPT, NCS. According to Scherer, although there is limited scientific and medical literature available about the management of orthopedic, integumentary, neurocognitive, and neurobehavioral effects in survivors of blast, there is even less research addressing the vestibular symptoms of these injuries.

Physical Therapists Play Integral Role In Prevention, Risk Reduction, And Treatment Of Painful And Often Irreversible Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment

As breast cancer awareness month is observed during October, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is hoping to shine a spotlight on lymphedema, a chronic, debilitating and often irreversible side effect of cancer treatment. According to APTA, breast cancer patients who seek the services of a physical therapist can reduce their risk of lymphedema, as it can be prevented or more effectively managed if caught in its earliest stages and treated by a physical therapist. APTA is launching this effort as it kicks off National Physical Therapy Month in October to educate the public about the important role physical therapists and physical therapist assistants play in health care. Breast cancer-related lymphedema, which can cause significant swelling of the upper and lower extremities due to the build-up of excess lymph fluid, is mostly caused by damage to the body's lymphatic system during treatment for cancer and can include limited movement, joint pain, and difficulty performing activities.

Hand Use For Wounded Soldiers Improved By Bioengineering Of Nerve-Muscle Connection

Modern tissue engineering developed at the University of Michigan could improve the function of prosthetic hands and possibly restore the sense of touch for injured patients. Researchers presented their updated findings at the 95th annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. The research project, which was funded by the Department of Department of Defense, arose from a need for better prosthetic devices for troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Most of these individuals are typically using a prosthesis design that was developed decades ago, " says Paul S. Cederna, M.D., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at U-M Health System and associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. "This effort is to make a prosthesis that moves like a normal hand." U-M researchers may help overcome some of the shortcomings of existing robotic prosthetics, which have limited motor control, provide no sensory feedback and can be uncomfortable and cumbersome to wear. "There is a huge need for a better nerve interface to control the upper extremity prostheses, " says Cederna.

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