Advice by condition

Our aim is to support you with the challenges faced in achieving your goals and to reduce risks associated with:

Alzheimer's Disease (AD)/ Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading form of dementia found in elderly patients marked by the slow degeneration of person’s cognitive function due to impaired communication between nerve cells in the brain.

Brain Injury

Brain injuries are caused by external force or trauma jarring the brain, causing varying degrees of brain dysfunction. This usually happens due to a violent blow to the head or body or an object penetrating the skull. Mild brain injuries may only have a temporary dysfunction of brain cells.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy occurs when parts of the brain that control muscles are damaged, causing varying degrees of lifelong disability. There is a wide spectrum disability within CP, ranging from mild physical disabilities to more severe cognitive and physical disabilities both.

Kyphosis

A kyphotic spine is characterised by a ‘hump’ back in the upper thoracic region and is usually associated with posterior pelvic tilt.  It can greatly reduce physiological function and needs to be accommodated in seating. Again, we need to establish if the posture is fixed, partially fixed or correctable.

Stroke/ Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)

Cerebral Vascular Accidents, more commonly known as a stroke, occur in two different ways by different causes. The majority of strokes, – about 80% – are called ischemic strokes and are caused by stopped blood flow to brain, usually due to a blood clot blocking the blood vessel and therefore not enough oxygen getting to the brain.

Huntington's Disease (HD)

Huntington’s disease is an inherited genetic disorder causing the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain resulting in involuntary movements and neuromuscular deterioration.

Motor Neuron Disease/ Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Motor neuron disease is the destruction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control the ability to use muscles and it typically manifests after forty years of age. Nerve cells that are affected are the upper motor neurons from the brain to the spinal cord and lower motor neurons that enter the muscles further away from the spine.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s cells fail to recognize other cells as part of the body and attacks them. In MS, the cells being attacked are called myelin, which are a layer of protein that protects nerve fibres in the spinal cord and helps with the transmission of electrical signals from the brain to the rest of the body.

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes muscle degeneration and weakness, progressing to the point where the individual does not have the strength to stand or sit up without support. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common, effecting boys only as women carry the gene and pass it on to half their male children.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is the destruction of nerve cells and depletion of dopamine, a chemical in the body responsible for smooth normal movements. It can be caused due to a genetic predisposition or environmental factors like exposure to metal poisoning, viral infection or side effects to drugs. People are living longer and so the incidence of Parkinson’s disease has increased as the disease is related to age.

Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is a congenital defect of the neural tube(i), where the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, resulting in defects of the spinal cord and vertebrae. The severity of the defect depends on the size and location of defect, whether skin covers it and which spinal nerves come out of affected area and can be classified into three categories of Spina Bifida. The first two, Spina Bifida Occulta and Spina Bifida Meningocele are the mild forms of Spina Bifida.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis can be ‘C’ shaped or ‘S’ shaped and is usually associated with a pelvic obliquity.  In assessing a patient with scoliosis we need to establish if the posture is fixed, partially fixed or correctable. Scoliosis can have serious health complications depending on the severity of the posture and can impact on internal organs and cause issues with the patient’s ribcage.

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
Spinal cord injuries occur when the vertebrae protecting the spinal cord are broken or displaced, thus affecting the nerves within it. They can occur due to compressing the spine, stretching the spine too much or tearing the spinal cord, either by a foreign object or the adjacent bone. When this happens, it leads to the loss of sensation in parts of the body, a diminished ability to move muscles or at the very worst, paraplegia(i) or quadriplegia(ii).
References

1. Casey J, Gittens L, White R. The use of tilt-in-space in seating systems for people with physical disabilities. University of Ulster: Northern Ireland. 2012

2. Casey, Martin et al 2012.

3. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide Anthony L. Komaroff, MD Editor in Chief. Simon & Schuster 1999. New York, NY

4. Traumatic brain injury. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/index.html. Accessed July 20, 2013.

5. About brain injury. Brain Injury Association of America. http://www.biausa.org/about-brain-injury.htm. Accessed July 20, 2013.

6. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Understanding brain injury: A guide for the family. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2008.

7. Rosenbaum P, Paneth N, Leviton A, Goldstein M, Bax M. A Report. The Definition and Classification of Cerebral Palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology Journal Supplement. 2007; 49:8-14.

8. Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Family Health Book Fourth Edition. Oxmoor House, Inc. 2009.

9. The Oxford MND Centre. What’s the difference between MND and ALS? Available at http://www.oxfordmnd.net/information/nomenclature. Accessed May 27, 2013.

10. Spina bifida fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/spina_bifida/detail_spina_bifida.htm. Accessed July 28, 2013.

11. Sandler AD. Children with spina bifida: Key clinical issues. Paediatric Clinics of North America. 2010;57:879.

12. What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/printall-index.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2012.

13. Mayo Clinic. Type 2 diabetes. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/type-2-diabetes/DS00585. Accessed June 30, 2013.

14. Angelo J. Using single subject design in clinical decision making: the effects of tilt in space on head control for a child with cerebral palsy. Assistive Technology. 1993; 6(6): 526-535.

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