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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Hello All,

Allied Health Care blog is one year today. Thanks for reading, sharing and supporting.

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Friday, 18 May 2012

Paralysed woman uses mind to control robotic arm

A PARALYSED woman has used brain power alone to take control of a robotic arm and lift a bottle of coffee to her lips after a pioneering operation.
For the first time in 15 years the woman was able to raise the bottle, take a sip and place it back on a table simply by imagining herself doing so.
The feat was possible thanks to a brain implant which translates the patient's thoughts into commands to be carried out by a free-standing robotic arm.
Doctors said the experiment proved that so-called "brain-computer interfaces" could dramatically improve the lives of paralysed people by enabling them to carry out simple tasks like eating and drinking independently.
The 58-year-old woman, known only as S3, had lost the use of both arms and legs due to stroke several years prior to the operation.
She and a paralysed 66-year-old man dubbed T2 were the first to trial BrainGate, a 4mmx4mm chip bearing 96 electrodes which was surgically implanted into their primary motor cortex, the part of the brain that governs movement.
Five years after receiving the implant both were able to use the robot to perform complex actions like reaching and grasping for objects, and S3 demonstrated the commands could be used to perform the everyday task of drinking.
She said: "I think about moving my hand and wrist. I'm right handed so, it's very comfortable and feels natural to imagine my right hand moving in the direction I want the robotic arm to move."
Previous studies have shown that paralysed patients could use similar systems to move computer cursors across a screen and control devices like wheelchairs, but the three-dimensional arm movement is the most complex ever performed in human trials.
Dr John Donoghue of Brown University, who led the research, said the experiment showed that brain cells can still produce meaningful signals years even after going unused for 15 years.
"This is another big jump forward to control the movements of a robotic arm in three-dimensional space. We're getting closer to restoring some level of everyday function to people with limb paralysis," he said.
- Nick Collins

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis is a benign, self-limiting condition of unknown etiology characterized by painful and limited active and passive glenohumeral range of motion of ≥ 25% in at least two directions[1][2][3][4][5][6] most notably shoulder abduction and external rotation.
Adhesive capsulitis, commonly referred to as frozen shoulder, is associated with synovitis and capsular contracture of the shoulder joint and can be classified as either primary or secondary. [1][2][3][4][5][7] In clinical practice it can be hard to differentiate adhesive capsulitis from other shoulder pathologies.[1] Since the physical therapy management of adhesive capsulitis is much different than that of other shoulder pathologies it can be detrimental to the patient if they are misdiagnosed. Therefore, it is important for the clinician to be aware of the ‘hallmarks’ of frozen shoulder and recognize the clinical phases that are specific to this condition.....

Adhesive Capsulitis

Physical Therapy

Although studies have shown the efficacy of physical therapy, no current evidence has suggested that physical therapy alone improves function in the treatment of FS.[15, 16, 17, 18] However, physical therapy associated with an intra-articular injection of corticosteroid improves function and ROM more rapidly than does intra-articular corticosteroid injection alone.[15, 19]

Therapeutic exercises

Although many therapeutic exercises are described, few have been evaluated in the treatment of FS. Therapeutic exercises that have been studied include articular stretching and pulley therapy.[20, 21, 22] Passive articular stretching exercises improve ROM. The superiority of supervised versus home exercise programs has yet to be demonstrated.[23]

Manual therapy

Data from 2 studies support the use of manual therapy to improve ROM in the short term. One study showed that passive mobilization in the end-range position of the glenohumeral joint was more effective for improving ROM and function than was passive mobilization in the pain-free zone.[24] However, the overall difference between the interventions was small. In addition, patients appeared to achieve greatest improvement in ROM when treatment was administered early.[25]
In summary, the findings indicated that patients with FS improve with physical therapy regardless of when it is administered after the onset of FS but that they achieve the greatest improvement in their ROM when treatment is administered early.

Physical modalities

Many electroanalgesic and thermoanalgesic modalities are often used in physical therapy. Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the inefficacy of bipolar interferential electrotherapy, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) pulsed ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, and magnetotherapy with electromagnetic fields in the treatment of painful shoulder disorders. Indeed, a systematic review of randomized clinical trials has demonstrated that little evidence supports the use of common physiotherapeutic modalities to treat shoulder pain. (Nonetheless, clinical observations suggest that electroanalgesia and heat can provide some temporary relief to patients with severe shoulder pain and that they can do so without side effects.)
In summary, physical therapy alone has not been shown to improve function. However, when associated with an intra-articular corticosteroid injection, physical therapy improves ROM and function more rapidly than does intra-articular corticosteroid injection alone. The effectiveness of physical modalities has not been demonstrated. However, therapeutic exercises and manual therapy do improve ROM (see above).
Given the paucity of evidence supporting the effectiveness of physical therapy, the present authors believe that clinicians should be most conservative in designing a physical therapy program for patients with FS. An intermittently supervised, home-based articular stretching and strength-maintenance program can be combined with manual therapy, the appropriate analgesic medications, and the judicious use of electroanalgesia and warm packs. This approach generally suffices to provide adequate pain relief in most patients while the disease runs its usual, favorable course. (For additional information, see Home Exercises for the Stiff Shoulder, on the University of Washington School of Medicine Web site

Friday, 11 May 2012

Drawing test can predict stroke risk

A SIMPLE drawing test can predict the long-term risk of dying after a first stroke among older men, research has found.
Men whose test scores were in the bottom 30pc were around three times as likely to die after a stroke as those in the highest 30pc, the team at Uppsala University in Sweden showed.
They analysed data from the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men, which has been looking at different risk factors for heart disease and stroke in 2,322 men since the age of 50.
They looked at just under 1,000 of these men who had not been diagnosed with stroke and whose intellectual capacity was assessed when they were between 65 and 75.
This was done using the trail making test (TMT) and the mini mental state exam (MMSE), which is widely used to test for dementia.
The TMT involves drawing lines with a pencil between numbers and/or letters in ascending order as quickly as possible, while the MMSE sets participants general cognitive tasks such as orientation, memory and numeracy.
During the 14-year monitoring period from 1991 to 2006, 155 men had a first major or minor stroke, known as a TIA (transient ischaemic attack).
Just over half of them (84) died within an average of two and a half years, with 22 dying within a month of the stroke.
After taking account of known risk factors such as older age,high blood pressure, education and social background, the study found that those who had performed badly in the TMT were more likely to have died.
However the findings, which are published in the online journal BMJ Open, showed no such association among those with poor MMSE scores.
The research team suggested this is because TMT is likely to pick up latent cognitive impairments caused by silent cerebrovascular disease that have not yet produced overt symptoms.
Stroke is the third largest cause of death in England, with more than 150,000 people suffering one every year, according to the NHS Choices website.
Those over 65 are most at risk but the danger can be reduced by having a healthy diet and taking regular exercise.
Source - Jennifer Cockerell

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mood Foods

Your Mood: AnxiousYou need to stay sharp through a grueling job interview.
Your Meal: Half a grilled-chicken wrap at lunch, hold the mayo
Here's Why: Eating between 4 and 5 ounces of protein helps your brain create dopamine and norepinephrine, neurochemicals that keep you alert, says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., author of The Serotonin Power Diet.

Your Mood: Stressed

You have to meet a deadline without being overwhelmed.
Your Meal: A handful of sesame seeds while you're working
Here's Why: Stress hormones can deplete your body's supply of magnesium, reducing your stress-coping abilities and increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Food & Mood.

Your Mood: Restless

You need some serious shut-eye before the big day.

Your Meal: Nonfat popcorn half an hour before you go to bed
Here's Why: The carbs will induce your body to create serotonin, a neurochemical that makes you feel relaxed. "Make sure it's fat-free, because fat will slow the process of boosting serotonin levels," says Somer.

Your Mood: Depressed

Problems at home are doing you in.

Your Meal: Grilled salmon or sushi for dinner
Here's Why: A study in Finland found that people who eat more fish are 31 percent less likely to suffer from depression. And skip sweet, simple carbs­ — the inevitable sugar crash can actually deepen depression.

Your Mood: Insecure

Your confidence is waning as the night wears on.

Your Meal: A snack-size chocolate bar
Here's Why: Chocolate contains a host of chemicals to brighten your mood, Somer says, including anadamine, which targets the same receptors as THC, and phenylethylamine, which produces a cozy, euphoric feeling.

Your Mood: Flummoxed

You've forgotten your last two deadlines.

Your Meal: Pineapple chunks for a snack or a cup of berries in your oatmeal
Here's Why: Antioxidants from the most-colorful fruits and vegetables help pick off the free radicals that wear away at your memory. "Because your brain consumes so much oxygen, oxidants do heavy damage there," says Somer.

Foods that Cure

Minor tweaks in your diet can help fend off everything from splitting headaches to heart attacks. Three dietary tweaks from Joy Bauer, R.D., author of Joy Bauer's Food Cures:

Migraine Headaches
Migraines have many food causes. Keep a meal log for a month to see which triggers affect your head.
Eat This: Foods rich in healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, and salmon, help reduce inflammation, a catalyst for migraines. Riboflavin, found in lean beef and grains, helps cells maintain energy reserves, which can prevent the onset of migraines.

Not That: Nitrites, found in deli meats, bacon, and hot dogs; aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in diet soft drinks; caffeine
Irritable-Bowel Syndrome
One in five Americans is affected by IBS. A careful diet is the best cure.
Eat This: Soft foods and foods rich in soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, barley, bananas, and sweet potatoes
Not That: When symptoms are strong, limit vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are hard for the body to break down. Other common triggers: dairy products, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine
Cardiovascular Disease 
A diet of heart-healthy fats may help prevent you from being one of the 1.5 million Americans who have heart attacks each year.
Eat This: Foods that boost good cholesterol (HDL), like canned tuna, mackerel, olive oil, avocado, and most nuts
Not That: Trans fat-laden foods, such as margarine; refined carbohydrates, which spike blood-thickening triglycerides; sugary soft drinks, juice, and white bread