Next up was Lori Quinn on From Disease to Health: PT Health Promotion Practices for Prevention in Adult Neurologic Populations
Lori first told us that she deals in and therefore most of her research comes from Huntington’s Disease (HD); however, she feels that it is a “model disease,” as at it’s base it is neuronal death, just with a genetic cause. And at other neurodegenerative diseases cores, that’s what they are too–progressive neuronal death. Had never thought of them that way, but it makes sense. So Lori advocated for PTs getting involved in the early stages of these disease, when perhaps there are as of yet no major physical symptoms. That way we can start educating the patients in the neuroprotective mechanisms of physical activity and exercise as discussed in the previous lecture session. Especially with the diseases like HD where we can more or less predict how long you’ve got once you’ve been diagnoses.
Lori also discussed environmental enrichment as a good treatment for neurodegenerative disorders. She used this term very loosely. I’ve seen it used in terms of zoos– giving the animals more toys to play with and problems to solve. She advocates using similar ideas with people: let them get themselves into a little trouble and let them work it out…. let them fall She also specifically mentioned a beach side walking program. Which I think could benefit EVERYONE.
She also reminded us to utilize disease specific outcomes measures. The one she mentioned for HD was the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale, which I had never heard of personally. Click on the click to get that and add it to your repertoire.
Lori reiterated like several already had throughout IVStep: PT is not a drug, so our research should not look like drug research.
Finally, PLEASE take a look at this flow chart that describes what a wellness program for prevention of decline should include in the neurodegenerative population, but really, I think (coming from a fitness background) could definitely be generalized to any population. It’s that good. I’d put it directly here, but you can use that link’s program to zoom in and actually read all the tiny print.