When we were approached by the team at DIY SOS The Big Build we were excited and delighted to be involved in one of their projects. We took part in the event during the build and were there on the day of the reveal to meet the family.

DIY SOS

Josephs Court

New Pathways editor Kahn Johnson returns to Josephs Court, MS-UK Centre of Excellence - this time to get to grips with the Thera Trainer.

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video gamesA team of researchers from Ohio State University received a $44,000 grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to fund the development and testing of an interactive video game designed to promote and supplement physical therapy among patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the motor neurons that is estimate to affect over 2.3 million people across the globe. The NMSS Pilot Research Grant will be used to fund a clinical trial to assess the efficacy of the video game, which will be funded for a year.

The interdisciplinary team of scientists is led by Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Associate Professor Roger Crawfis, together with Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Lynne Gauthier, and CSE grad student David Maung.

We were all amazed to hear of the amazing breakthrough in the treatment of MS in the UK earlier this year. We watched in amazement as a patient who had deteriorate in 1 year from being an able-bodied athlete to needing a wheelchair full time.

This level of deterioration devastates a person, their life and their family so when a trial was offered to try a new ‘miracle’ procedure Steven Story was keen to take part.

The treatment involves a course of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transfusion. 4 months later Steven was able to stand unaided, and with continuing physiotherapy he is now able to swim and cycle and hopes that walking will be the next big step.

The procedure, like all new treatments, has its problems and was not successful on all who tried it, but for those for whom it worked it has made a dramatic positive change to the quality of their lives.

Although this procedure is not and will not be suitable for all patient with MS it must surely give hope to many who previously had none.

Exercising brain injuryWhen a member of your family has sustained a Brain Injury exercise can be the furthest thing from your thoughts. But this may well be the very thing that could improve their quality of life and they will be able to make the most out of their physical function. An exercise regime can introduce routine and purpose to their life with the added benefits that exercise can bring.

Introducing routine into the day is vital in the early rehabilitation stage – simple habits of getting up, getting dressed and having breakfast can set the pattern for the day. It gives focus and avoids deepening depression and stress. To keep a structure to the day will add incentive and give you an aim for each day.

By using the THERA-Trainer active/passive exercise bike, having of course first checked with your clinician that you are ready to participate in exercise, you can set small yet realistic targets and gauge the improvement over the following weeks and months. Progress is often slow – don’t be despondent and don’t give up. As with any exercise it is the long term improvement that will improve your quality of life – that being said benefits can be seen by some almost immediately.

Following a stroke you should know that exercise is very important for stroke recovery and for preventing another stroke. Only slightly more than half (57%) of stroke survivors are getting regular exercise, according to a survey of 11,862 men and women who had survived at least one stroke.

The benefits of exercise are already widely recognised, but a study in Southampton has shown that patients undergoing bone marrow transplants have improved satisfaction and have cut the length of their stay in hospital when exercise is incorporated in their post-surgery recovery period.

Regular exercise for the Parkinson's sufferer will reduce the incidence of muscle cramps, rigidity of the joints and the aches and pains associated with staying still for long periods of time. Also, because exercise helps the sufferer to maintain control over many of their gross movements (although maybe not the tremors) it gives them a heightened sense of achievement and so stress and anxiety levels remain low. Keeping a positive mental attitude is incredibly important in conditions like Parkinson's disease where sufferer can very easily become frustrated and discouraged with their predicament.

Exercise bikes are available in many forms...from the cheapest of pedals bought from a catalogue to the highest tech from up market sports equipment suppliers. The choice is endless, yet if you have a disability that limits your mobility, to expect to be able to use a standard bike is just not a realistic choice.

10.4" Touch ScreenThe 10.4” touch screen on the THERA-vital offers a high quality monitor giving a large visual real time feedback.

The settings can be altered by using the slightest touch, so that even with very little strength the user can be in full control of their exercise session.

When the THERA-vital is used in a multi-user situation you can create an account for each of your users and track their progress on a daily / weekly / monthly basis. This report can be saved on a laptop and printed off to show a proven outcome of the exercise session.

For more information about the 10.4” screen for the THERA-vital or to ask for a demonstration of this equipment please call 01908-564100

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, believe they have found a way psychology can help speed up stroke patients’ rehabilitation.
The team studied activity in an area of the brain responsible for controlling movements when healthy participants observed a video showing simple hand movements and simultaneously imagined that they were performing that movement. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation – a technique where a coil placed over the scalp delivers a stimulation to the brain, activating neurons in the underlying area and causing a muscular contraction in the participant’s hand – the researchers found that combining imagery (imagining the feelings associated with performing the movement) with observation (watching the movement) created the strongest activity in the brain.

Regular exercise is essential for health, but for those with Multiple Sclerosis who can walk no more than a few steps at a time, or not at all, exercise can be difficult to obtain.

There is no right or wrong exercise. However, the nature of MS may mean that you have to be more aware of what you can achieve than someone who doesn't have MS. If you have concerns about undertaking certain activities, talk to a relevant health professional (eg a neurologist, GP, MS specialist nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist) beforehand.

From the time when our ancestors first adopted the upright posture, standing has been an integral part of what it is to be human. Standing allows us to carry out a multitude of activities and enables us to interact with people eye-to-eye, which may contribute to our sense of identity. Standing is important, yet weakness and poor balance can often limit the quantity, or quality, of standing.

The Paralympics in 2012 was an inspirational event that will live in our memories for ever! We watched with awe as a team of remarkable individuals excelled at sport – leaving us all feeling both humble and inspired. To change the perception some have of people with disabilities was not the main aim of course – the aim was GOLD and they did that in numbers!!

Short bouts of moderate exercise such as walking or steady cycling can improve energy levels among people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), research suggests.

Many of Britain's gyms, leisure centers and swimming pools are "no-go zones" for disabled people and will struggle to cope with an expected surge in interest in fitness activities, following the Paralympic games in 2012.

Following brain injury, the effects of trauma to the brain continue for months and years after the event and are associated with chronic inflammation and progressive neurodegeneration.

Exercise bikes are available in many forms...from the cheapest of pedals bought from a catalogue to the highest tech from up market sports equipment suppliers. The choice is endless, yet if you have a disability that limits your mobility, to expect to be able to use a standard bike is just not a realistic choice.

We all know that exercise is helpful to good health. We also know it is good for the heart and the muscles. But can it change the brain, and might these changes make an impact on Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms?

The answer to both of these questions is yes.

The exciting new Group Gaming package allows for up to 4 patients to play one of the biofeedback-controlled games together. The therapist or therapy assistant decides which patients will take part in the group exercise.

Most patients like group gaming sessions much more than exercising alone. More fun means more motivation, and more motivation means longer sessions. Group Exercise gives the sessions a social component and the patients will see how different therapy can be.
Every THERA-Trainer has its own screen and can be used separately for individual exercise as well as group gaming.

Group gaming

For more information or to book a free demonstration of the group gaming please call 01908-564100