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2 years ago

MSWA Bulletin Magazine Winter 2021

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MSWA Volunteer Luncheon | Our new respiratory | Physiotherapy service | Our m contribution to research | Pain and pain management series


RESEARCH FROM JAMA NEUROLOGY Read more at: Association of sex and age with mild traumatic brain injury-related symptoms: a TRACK-TBI study; Harvey S Levin et al. This study sought to determine if post-acute mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) symptoms differ between men and women. 2000 patients with mTBI were assessed 12 months post injury for the severity of cognitive and somatic symptoms and it was found to be significantly worse in women than in men. The association between mTBI and somatic symptoms was greater in women aged 35 to 49 years than those aged 17 to 34 years or older than 50 years. Using a variety of testing tools, they evaluated mTBI patients and compared them with a post orthopaedic trauma cohort. Their results led them to conclude that women were more vulnerable than men to persistent mTBI-related cognitive and somatic symptoms. Postconcussion symptoms were also worse in women aged 35 to 49 years than in younger and older women, but further investigation is needed to corroborate these findings and to identify the mechanisms involved. Results suggest that individualised clinical management of mTBI should consider sex and age, as some women are especially predisposed to chronic post-concussion symptoms even 12 months after injury. FROM MND SCOTLAND Read more at: Motor neurone disease: Edinburgh scientists reveal breakthrough Scientists in Scotland are a step closer to being able to reverse the damage caused by motor neurone disease (MND) following a breakthrough by researchers in Edinburgh. The team proved for the first time that axons – the long nerve fibres which connect and send electrical impulses from the nerve cells to the muscles – are shorter in cells affected by MND than in healthy cells. They also discovered that the movement of the mitochondria, the tiny energy cells which move up and down the axons, is impaired. Researchers have also found that the nerve cell damage – or motor neurons – caused by MND can be repaired by boosting the energy levels in these mitochondria. Once this was done in laboratory experiments, the axon reverted back to normal length. The effect was achieved in the lab using motor neurons grown from stem cells collected from people with a genetic mutation known to cause MND. These lab-grown motor neurons were then exposed to a virus which supercharged a key molecule vital to the healthy functioning of mitochondria. The team, based at the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research at Edinburgh University, believe they may be able to produce the same result in patients – not with a virus, but by re-purposing an existing drug instead. Dr Arpan Mehta, a lead scientist on the project, said: “Our data provides hope that by restoring the cell’s energy source we can protect the axons and their connection to muscle from degeneration. Work is already underway to identify existing licensed drugs that can boost the mitochondria and repair the motor neurons. This will then pave the way to test them in clinical trials.” FROM PARKINSON’S WA Read more at: Study: heat sensitivity in people with Parkinson’s disease A heat sensitivity study, which is being conducted by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology, has two aims: 1. To increase knowledge and understanding of how people with Parkinson’s disease experience the heat. 2. To develop a scale for the assessment of heat sensitivity in people with Parkinson’s disease. These findings will help to shed light on the experience of heat sensitivity in people with Parkinson’s disease and provide a tool for clinicians and researchers to assess heat sensitivity in people with Parkinson’s disease. The study is seeking interested participants, so if you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you are invited to participate in this research project; just use the link below: 14

PHYSIOTHERAPY OUR NEW RESPIRATORY PHYSIOTHERAPY SERVICE MSWA’s new respiratory physiotherapy service is designed to assist Clients experiencing respiratory symptoms associated with their neurological condition. Respiratory physiotherapy incorporates both physiotherapy treatment techniques and prescription of specialised equipment to help improve respiratory efficiency. Services include education on airway clearance techniques, organising respiratory equipment, carer training, and liaising with your medical team to create respiratory action plans. The respiratory physiotherapy services may be beneficial for Clients who: / are unable to clear secretions effectively, / have an ineffective cough due to respiratory muscle weakness, / may have frequent chest infections and/or frequent hospital admissions related to chest infections. Early referral to one of our respiratory physiotherapists is indicated for Clients with progressive neurodegenerative diseases eg MND, SMA, muscular dystrophy. Following a thorough assessment, the physiotherapist will discuss treatment techniques and specialised equipment (eg CoughAssist Machine) that can assist in improving respiratory efficiency. From these assessments each Client will be provided with an individualised treatment plan. The NDIS provides reasonable and necessary respiratory supports, including specialised equipment. MSWA Physiotherapist Maeve O’Shaughnessy demonstrating some of the new specialised respiratory equipment. As this process can take some time, please consider early referral and assessment so that applications can be made in anticipation of future needs. If you would like to book a respiratory physiotherapy review, please speak to one of our MSWA Nurses, Physiotherapists or Client Liaison Coordinators for a referral. Please note: MSWA does not provide emergency services. If any Client is acutely unwell they should contact their GP, relevant specialist or emergency department. 15