Using non-invasive transcranial stimulation to improve movement & cognition in PD. Systematic review

Lewy Body Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor and cognitive abilities. There is no cure for PD, therefore identifying safe therapies to alleviate symptoms remains a priority. This meta-analysis quantified the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) to improve motor and cognitive dysfunction in PD. PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Scopus, Library of Congress and Cochrane library were searched. 24 rTMS and 9 TES studies (n = 33) with a sham control group were included for analyses.

The Physiotherapy Evidence Database and Cochrane Risk of Bias showed high quality (7.5/10) and low bias with included studies respectively. Our results showed an overall positive effect in favour of rTMS (SMD = 0.394, CI [0.106–0.683], p = 0.007) and TES (SMD = 0.611, CI [0.188–1.035], p = 0.005) compared with sham stimulation on motor function, with no significant differences detected between rTMS and TES (Q [1] = 0.69, p = 0.406).

Neither rTMS nor TES improved cognition. No effects for stimulation parameters on motor or cognitive function were observed. To enhance the clinical utility of non-invasive brain stimulation (NBS), individual prescription of stimulation parameters based upon symptomology and resting excitability state should be a priority of future research.


[SALE] Huge Black Friday-Cyber Monday Week Savings on EDGE Mobility System, IASTM Technique 2.0, and MMT Premium

The MMT Team and I are taking a break for the holidays! I hope you guys are enjoying the blog this year and as always we have more awesome content coming your way as soon as next week! Everyone should be practicing gratitudes each day for well being and I am always grateful for all of your support, shares, and comments!

To give thanks, I am having a sale on all EDGE Mobility System products with the coupon code turkey20

This includes our popular and new EDGE Back SupportEDGE Suspension TrainerThe Occlusion Cuff for BFR, as well as our classics – The EDGE Mobility ToolMirror Box, and EDGE Mobility Bands!

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Click here to apply the 20% off coupon to your cart! Ends Cyber Monday 11-28 midnight EST!

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Thanks for all your support, comments, and questions! Keep them coming! I hope everyone in the USA has a safe and wonderful holiday and everywhere else, have an amazing week!
Keeping it Eclectic…

New Ways to Act F.A.S.T. Initiatives to Speed up Diagnosis of Stroke.

Stroke - Ischemic and Hemorrhagic

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15 million people suffer stroke worldwide each year. Of these, 5 million die and another 5 million are left permanently disabled. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study suggested Stroke is the second leading cause of death globally and the third leading cause of premature death and disability as measured in Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY).

Broadly speaking there are two types of stroke – Ischemic (85%) and Hemorrhagic (15%). Hemorrhagic strokes are divided into two further subtypes – intracerebral hemorrhage and atraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. The severity of ischemic strokes range greatly from mild or transient (TIA) to severe but the cause is identical. The distinction between ischemic stroke and TIA is no more than severity therefore it is not useful to divide these into two categories.

Ischemic-type strokes have many causes: 25% cardioembolic (such as atrial fibrillation), 25% arteroembolic (such as a plaque), 25% lacunar (small vessel disease in the brain) and 25% other causes, in other words arterial occlusion is a overwhelmingly common cause of ischemic strokes.

Stroke syndromes present with rapid onset and symptoms depend on the area of the brain affected, this is defined by the arterial anatomy involved. Although some features are more or less typical of hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke, none are sufficiently discriminatory to allow clinical diagnosis of stroke type. This is integral for the acute management. Therefore, imaging in the acute phase is required for all strokes.

Common symptoms of stroke in the left hemisphere include aphasia, right hemiparesis and right hemianopia, and in the right hemisphere, left hemispatial neglect, left hemiparesis and left hemianopia. The majority (90%) of strokes are supratentorial; as such, the public can be taught to recognize and act upon stroke using the acronym FAST, for facial droop, arm drop, speech disturbance and time.

4.5 hours is a crucial time deadline in the management of ischemic stroke and this is why speed is integral to diagnosis and arrival to hospital. If given within this deadline Alteplase has been proven to reduced functional disability and is the leading treatment. The problem is efficacy wanes rapidly if there is any delay in administration. This is was speed is of the essence.

To be sure that the treatment is correct (hemorrhagic strokes cannot be managed with Alteplase) diagnosis needs to be confirmed and this is often a delay in treatment. To combat this UCLA have been trialing the use of a CT-equipped ambulance. Alongside the scanner there is also a CT tech, a small blood lab, a neurologist, a critical care nurse as well as a paramedic.

This is clearly an amazing step forwards in the timeline of the management of ischemic stroke but it still relies on timely call for emergency help. As mentioned about F.A.S.T is a crucial tool in helping members of the public recognize a stroke. Qualcomm have produced a fantastic VR educational tool to help teach the importance of F.A.S.T. In the app is takes you through each step of the diagnostic process.

Lumbopelvic Core Stabilization Exercise & Pain Modulation Among Individuals with Chronic Nonspecific LBP

Lumbar Spine Model

Lumbopelvic stabilization training (LPST) may provide therapeutic benefits on pain modulation in chronic nonspecific low back pain conditions. This study aimed to examine the effects of LPST on pain threshold and pain intensity in comparison with the passive automated cycling intervention and control intervention among patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

A within-subject, repeated-measures, crossover randomized controlled design was conducted among 25 participants (7 males and 18 females) with chronic nonspecific low back pain. All the participants received 3 different types of experimental interventions, which included LPST, the passive automated cycling intervention, and the control intervention randomly, with 48 hours between the sessions. The pressure pain threshold (PPT), hot-cold pain threshold, and pain intensity were estimated before and after the interventions.

Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that LPST provided therapeutic effects as it improved the PPT beyond the placebo and control interventions (P < 0.01). The pain intensity under the LPST condition was significantly better than that under the passive automated cycling intervention and controlled intervention (P < 0.001). Heat pain threshold under the LPST condition also showed a significant trend of improvement beyond the control (P < 0.05), but no significant effects on cold pain threshold were evident.

Lumbopelvic stabilization training may provide therapeutic effects by inducing pain modulation through an improvement in the pain threshold and reduction in pain intensity. LPST may be considered as part of the management programs for treatment of chronic low back pain.

The 3-m Backwards Walk and Retrospective Falls: Diagnostic Accuracy of a Novel Clinical Measure.

Music Backward Icon

Several measures of fall risk have been previously developed and include forward walking, turning, and stepping motions. However, recent research has demonstrated that backwards walking is more sensitive at identifying age-related changes in mobility and balance compared with forward walking. No clinical test of backwards walking currently exists. Therefore, this article describes a novel clinical test of backwards walking, the 3-m backwards walk (3MBW), and assessed whether it was associated with 1-year retrospective falls in a population of healthy older adults. Diagnostic accuracy of the 3MBW was calculated at different cutoff points and compared with existing clinical tests.

This study was a retrospective cohort study including residents of a retirement community without a history of neurological deficits. Demographics, medical history, and falls in the past year were collected, and clinical tests included the 3MBW and the Timed Up and Go (TUG), the 5 times sit-to-stand, and the 4-square step test. Frequency distributions and t tests compared baseline characteristics of people who reported falling with people who did not. Diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) was calculated for a series of cutoffs for the 3MBW, the TUG (≥8, 10, and 13.5 seconds), 5 times sit-to-stand (≥12 and ≥15 seconds), and 4-step square test (>15 seconds). Receiver operating curve analyses were used to define 3MBW optimal cutoffs, and the difference between the overall area under the curve (AUC) was statistically tested. SPSS 24.0 and MedCalc 17.1 were used for all analyses.

Fifty-nine adults with a mean (SD) age of 71.5 (7.6) years participated, with 25 people reporting falls in the past year. The mean (SD) time for the 3MBW was 4.0 (2.1) seconds. People who fell had a significantly slower 3MBW time (4.8 vs 3.5 seconds for people who did not fall, P = .015), but not a significantly slower 4-step square test (9.5 vs 8.1 seconds, P = .056), TUG (9.3 vs 8.0 seconds, P = .077), and 5 times sit-to-stand (12.5 vs 10.3 seconds, P = .121). The highest overall AUC for any measure was for the 3MBW at 3.5 seconds (0.707, 95% confidence interval = 0.570-0.821; sensitivity = 74%, specificity = 61%), which was significantly higher than the TUG at 8 seconds (AUC = 0.560, P = .023) and 13.5 seconds (AUC = 0.528, P = .011), the 4-step square test (AUC = 0.522, P = .004), but not significantly higher than the TUG at 10 seconds (P = .098) and the 5 times sit-to-stand at 12 (P = .092) or 15 seconds (P = .276). On the 3MBW, more than 75% of people who were faster than 3.0 seconds did not report any falls, and 94% of people who did not report falling were faster than 4.5 seconds. Of the people who were slower than 4.5 seconds, 81% reported falling.

In a study of healthy older adults, the 3MBW demonstrated similar or better diagnostic accuracy for falls in the past year than most commonly used measures. People walking faster than 3.0 seconds on the 3MBW were unlikely to have reported falling, whereas people slower than 4.5 seconds were very likely to have reported falling. Further validation of the 3MBW in prospective studies, larger samples, and clinical populations is recommended.

Clinical Decision Making in the Management of Patients With Cervicogenic Dizziness: A Case Series.


Although growing recognition of cervicogenic dizziness (CGD) is emerging, there is still no gold standard for the diagnosis of CGD. The purpose of this case series is to describe the clinical decision making utilized in the management of 7 patients presenting with CGD.

Patients presenting with neck pain and accompanying subjective symptoms, including dizziness, unsteadiness, light-headedness, and visual disturbance, were selected. Clinical evidence of a temporal relationship between neck pain and dizziness, with or without sensorimotor disturbances, was assessed. Clinical decision making followed a 4-step process, informed by the current available best evidence. Outcome measures included the numeric rating scale for dizziness and neck pain, the Dizziness Handicap Inventory, Patient-Specific Functional Scale, and global rating of change.

Seven patients (mean age, 57 years; range, 31-86 years; 7 female) completed physical therapy management at an average of 13 sessions (range, 8-30 sessions) over a mean of 7 weeks. Clinically meaningful improvements were observed in the numeric rating scale for dizziness (mean difference, 5.7; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.0, 7.5), neck pain (mean difference, 5.4; 95% CI: 3.8, 7.1), and the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (mean difference, 32.6; 95% CI: 12.9, 52.2) at discontinuation. Patients also demonstrated overall satisfaction via the Patient-Specific Functional Scale (mean difference, 9) and global rating of change (mean, +6).

This case series describes the physical therapist decision making, management, and outcomes in patients with CGD. Further investigation is warranted to develop a valid clinical decision-making guideline to inform management of patients with CGD.

Implicit evaluations and physiological threat responses in people with persistent LBP and fear of bending.

Constructor Holding Back And Bending Over Like Hurting

Pain and protective behaviour are dependent on implicit evaluations of danger to the body. However, current assessment of perceived danger relies on self-report, on information of which the person is aware and willing to disclose. To overcome this limitation, attempts have been made to investigate implicit evaluation of movement-related threatening images in people with persistent low back pain (PLBP) and pain-related fear. Lack of specificity of the sample and stimuli limited those explorations. This study investigated implicit evaluations and physiological responses to images of tasks commonly reported as threatening by people with PLBP: bending and lifting. We hypothesized that people who differ in self-reported fear of bending with a flexed lumbar spine (fear of bending) would also differ in implicit evaluations and physiological responses.

This study used a convenience sample of 44 people (54% female) with PLBP, who differed in self-reported fear of bending. Participants completed a picture-viewing paradigm with pleasant, neutral and unpleasant images, and images of people bending and lifting with a flexed lumbar spine (’round-back’) to assess physiological responses (eye-blink startle modulation, skin conductance). They also completed an implicit association test (IAT) and an affective priming task (APT). Both assessed implicit associations between (i) images of people bending/lifting with a flexed lumbar spine posture (’round-back’ posture) or bending/lifting with a straight lumbar spine posture (‘straight-back’ posture), and (ii) perceived threat (safe vs. dangerous).

An implicit association between ‘danger’ and ’round-back’ bending/lifting was evident in all participants (IAT (0.5, CI [0.3; 0.6]; p<0.001) and APT (24.2, CI [4.2; 44.3]; p=0.019)), and unrelated to self-reported fear of bending (IAT (r=-0.24, 95% CI [-0.5, 0.04], p=0.117) and APT (r=-0.00, 95% CI [-0.3, 0.3], p=0.985)). Levels of self-reported fear of bending were not associated with eye-blink startle (F(3, 114)=0.7, p=0.548) or skin conductance responses (F(3, 126)=0.4, p=0.780) to pictures of bending/lifting.

Contrary to the authors expectation, self-reported fear of bending was not related to physiological startle response or implicit measures. People with PLBP as a group (irrespective of fear levels) showed an implicit association between images of a round-back bending/lifting posture and danger, but did not display elevated physiological responses to these images. These results provide insight to the understanding of the relationship between pain and fear of movement.

The potential clinical implications of their findings are twofold. First, these results indicate that self-report measures do not always reflect implicit associations between particular movements and threat. Implicit association tasks may help overcome this limitation. Second, a lack of the predicted physiological and behavioural responses may reflect that the visualization of a threatening task by people in pain does not elicit the same physiological defensive responses measured in people with fear of specific objects. It may be necessary to expose the person to the actual movement to elicit threat-responses. Together, these results are consistent with current views of the role of ‘fear’ in the fear-avoidance model, in which a fear response may only be elicited when the threat is unavoidable.