OT WebGems- Brain Edition

OT WebGems charges on like a hybrid car rolling downhill! Ok, "brain" is a pretty broad term for an edition. The following links are mostly CVA related, with some NON-controversial information on stem cell research, and a couple of other thinly related articles. Who doesn't like neuro-know-how? Onward!

TIA Diagnosis- Neurologists have found 3 indicators to help avoid misdiagnose TIA. Briefly, if the person has had a slow onset of symptoms, vague symptoms (w/ or w/o neurological symptoms) and/or if a TIA had previously been ruled out at another time, then it is not likely a TIA. We do get therapy orders for pts w/ TIA, though they sometimes turn into a 'walky-talky' (as the speech therapist calls it) before we get there. I did get eval orders on a person who I had discharged on eval the previous day as she continued to have neuro events while in the hospital.

Stroke Centers- This study found that pts who received care at a specialized stroke center recovered better and stayed better than those who had care at a non-specialized hospital. They recommend telecommunication for rural hospitals, but I wonder if they explored the SES factors of their participants, as there can be some major overall health differences between city-dwellers & others who can get to a specialized center and those who are in a more rural environment.

Brain Implants- Scientists have found that there is some same-sided brain control over body movements, and are using brain-computer interfaces to help overcome hemiparesis. They can't leave the implants in long-term though... yet. Also, if you have not yet looked at BrainGate, you should definitely check into it. One of my classmates found this in late 2006, and they have continued to improve their research and tests.

Reprogramming Adults' Cells- Scientists have now taken a fully developed adult cell and transformed it into a different type of cell. This isn't super-new, especially because one of my former fieldwork CIs had a pt who had an experimental procedure where stem cells were used from his nose to help him overcome a paralysis. But, very cool.

Google- This was an interesting article about brain scans done in older adults during web surfing, but I think they missed a discussion point. It was the web-savvy users who showed the greatest brain activity during surfing, which I would think means that people need to develop their 'brain-gain' activities early in life and continue them, or that you would get less benefit from starting one of those activities later in life and being less skilled at it. I'm not sure if that really fits with what we already know about brain development though.

Amnesia- I throw this in here as a short, less-scientific but good intro to neuro article addressing amnesia and whether one knows they have it or not. Just happened to come across it while writing this.

Body Snatchers!- Scientists were able to create an illusion of body swapping between a person and a mannequin, tricking the brain's sensory perceptions. A cool jumping off point for robotics, VR, and possibly sensory reeducation?

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