Archive for May, 2015

[WEB SITE] Magstim’s Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy System FDA Cleared to Fight Major Depression (VIDEO)


The FDA awarded Magstim, a Carmarthenshire, Wales firm, clearance to bring to market the company’s Magstim Rapid2 rTMS (repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Therapy System. The system is indicated to treat drug resistant major depressive disorder in an outpatient setting.

The Magstim Rapid2 has been available to researchers in fields such as cognitive neuroscience, neurophysiology, and rehabilitation. Now the magnetic stimulator will be available in the U.S. as a clinical product.

It’s intended to target the dorsolateral left pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC), a region of the brain that sees reduced blood flow in patients with serious depression. When magnetically stimulated, blood flow tends to increase, improving mood and reducing symptoms of the depression.

Here’s Robin Davies, the CEO of Magstim, talking about the Rapid2 rTMS system:

via Magstim’s Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy System FDA Cleared to Fight Major Depression (VIDEO).

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[WEB SITE] Google Putting Up Millions For Disability Initiative


May 27, 2015

Google announced this week that it will provide millions of dollars in funding to groups that are using technology to change the lives of people with disabilities. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Google announced this week that it will provide millions of dollars in funding to groups that are using technology to change the lives of people with disabilities. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Google is looking to address the needs of a billion people with disabilities worldwide and it’s putting big bucks behind the effort.

The Internet search giant said this week that — the company’s charitable arm — is offering up $20 million to nonprofits “using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities.”

As part of the initiative dubbed “The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities,” the company is also asking people with disabilities to suggest problems that they would like to see addressed with the grant money.

Google has already committed funding to two groups — the Enable Community Foundation which links people needing prosthetics with volunteers who use 3D printers to create them at no cost and World Wide Hearing which will use the funds to develop a low-cost kit to detect hearing loss using smartphone technology.

“The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious ‘what ifs’ for the disabled community. We will choose the best of these ideas and help them to scale by investing in their vision, by rallying our people and by mobilizing our resources in support of their missions,” Jacquelline Fuller, director of, said in a blog post.

Alongside the monetary commitment, Google said it will work to ensure accessibility of its own products and add new offerings that benefit people with disabilities. The company cited its work developing self-driving cars as well as Liftware, a utensil designed to help people with hand tremors eat more easily, as examples of its existing work in this space.

“Historically, people living with disabilities have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive and limited to assisting with one or two specific tasks. But that’s beginning to change,” Fuller wrote. “Together, we can create a better world, faster.”

Advisers for the new project include autism self-advocate Temple Grandin and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

via Google Putting Up Millions For Disability Initiative – Disability Scoop.


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[WEB SITE] The Secret Sadness of Pregnancy With Depression

At the beginning of spring in 2013, Mary Guest, a lively, accomplished 37-year-old woman, fell in love, became pregnant and married after a short courtship. At the time, Mary taught children with behavioral problems in Portland, Ore., where she grew up. Her supervisor said that he had rarely seen a teacher with Mary’s gift for intuiting students’ needs. “Mary was a powerful person,” he wrote to her mother, Kristin. “Around Mary, one felt compassion, drive, calmness and support.”

Mary had struggled with depression for much of her life. Starting in her 20s, she would sometimes say to Kristin that she just wanted to die. “She would always follow up by saying, ‘But you don’t need to worry, Mama,’ ” Kristin told me. “ ‘I don’t have a plan, and I don’t intend to do anything.’ ” In recent years, Mary and her mother went for a walk once a week, and Mary would describe the difficulties she was having. She was helped somewhat by therapy and by antidepressant and antianxiety medications, which blunted her symptoms.

Mary’s friends appreciated her wacky sense of humor and her engaging wit. Colleagues said that her moods never impinged on her work; in fact, few of them knew what she was dealing with. Yet for years Mary worried that she would never be in a stable relationship and experience love or a family of her own. She said plaintively to Kristin, “I think I would be a really good mother.”

Continue—>  The Secret Sadness of Pregnancy With Depression –

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[WEB SITE] Introduction to Vision & Brain Injury

Vision is our dominant sense

More than just sight is measured in terms of visual acuity, vision is the process of deriving meaning from what is seen. It is a complex, learned and developed set of functions that involve a multitude of skills. Research estimates that eighty to eighty five percent of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are mediated through vision.

The ultimate purpose of the visual process is to arrive at an appropriate motor, and/or cognitive response.

There is an extremely high incidence (greater than 50%) of visual and visual-cognitive disorders in neurologically impaired patients (traumatic brain injury, cerebral vascular accidents, multiple sclerosis etc.) Rosalind Gianutsos, Ph.D.

“Visual-perceptual dysfunction is one of the most common devastating residual impairments of head injury”. Barbara Zoltan, M.A., O.T.R.

“The majority of individuals that recover from a traumatic brain injury will have binocular function difficulties in the form of strabismus, phoria, oculomotor dysfunction, convergence and accommodative abnormalities”. William Padula, O.D.

Continue —>  Introduction to Vision & Brain Injury.

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[WEB SITE] OT Cafe: Celebrating OT Month – Apps created by OTs


Goto Applications —> OT Cafe: Celebrating OT Month | Apps created by OTs.

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[WEB SITE]’s Guide to Assistive & Accessible Technologies’s Guide to Assistive & Accessible Technologies

Assistive technology (AT) “includes any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capacities of people with disabilities.” AT can be low-tech, such as a magnifying glass, or high-tech, such as computer software. There are many different types of AT and adaptive equipment to help people with disabilities live independently and participate in the classroom, workplace and in their communities.

Here are some “quick links” to get you started:

The Technology section of has a broad range of resources about assistive technology. In addition, we have developed this guide to connect you with programs, services, government agencies and organizations that can help you find and pay for AT. To learn about technology related laws and regulations, including the Assistive Technology Act (“Tech Act”), visit “’s Guide to Disability Rights Laws” or the Technology Laws & Regulations section of the website.

For more information about AT, check out the following sections of “’s Guide to Assistive Technology”:

Return to’s Guides to Information.

via’s Guide to Assistive & Accessible Technologies –

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[REPORT TO CONGRESS] Traumatic Brain Injury in the US – Epidemiology and Rehabilitation – Issuu

Traumatic Brain Injury in the US – Epidemiology and Rehabilitation
This CE course describes: the known incidence of traumatic brain injury, including trends over time; prevalence of traumatic brain injury-related disability; the adequacy of TBI outcome measures; factors that influence differential TBI outcomes; and the current status and effectiveness of TBI rehabilitation services.

via ISSUU – Traumatic Brain Injury in the US – Epidemiology and Rehabilitation by Quantum Units Continuing Education.


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[VIDEO] Virtual reality stroke therapy tricks brain into rewiring itself

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 – 02:06

Mar. 26 – A portable virtual reality device has been developed to help stroke patients recover the use of their limbs. The MindPlayPRO can be used early in the recovery process to trick the patient’s brain into believing that immobilised regions of their body are still working, thereby spurring the recovery to take place. Jim Drury has more.

via Virtual reality stroke therapy tricks brain into rewiring itself | Video |

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[WEB SITE] Research Reports – Study evaluating the effects of Cerebrolysin treatment on clinical outcomes in traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability for which

there is currently no effective drug therapy available. Because drugs targeting a

single TBI pathological pathway have failed to show clinical efficacy to date,

pleiotropic agents with effects on multiple mechanisms of secondary brain damage

could represent an effective option to improve brain recovery and clinical

outcome in TBI patients. In this multicenter retrospective study, we investigated

severity-related efficacy and safety of the add-on therapy with two

concentrations (20 ml/day or 30 ml/day) of Cerebrolysin (EVER Neuro Pharma,

Austria) in TBI patients. Adjunctive treatment with Cerrebrolysin started within

48 hours after TBI and clinical outcomes were ranked according to the Glasgow

Outcome Scale and the Modified Rankin Disability Score at 10 and 30 days

post-TBI. Analyses of efficacy were performed separately for subgroups of

patients with mild, moderate or severe TBI according to Glasgow Coma Scale scores

at admission. Compared to standard medical care alone (control group), both doses

of Cerebrolysin were associated with improved clinical outcome scores at 10 days

post-TBI in mild patients and at 10 and 30 days in moderate and severe cases. A

dose-dependent effect of Cerebrolysin on TBI recovery was supported by the

dose-related differences and the significant correlations with treatment duration

observed for outcome measures. The safety and tolerability of Cerebrolysin in TBI

patients was very good. In conclusion, the results of this large retrospective

study revealed that early Cerebrolysin treatment is safe and is associated to

improved TBI outcome.

via Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Guide – Research Reports – Study evaluating the effects of Cerebrolysin treatment on clinical outcomes in traumatic brain injury.

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[WEB SITE] Robotic Exoskeleton May Improve Rehabilitation After Stroke, Brain Injury

Robotic Exoskeleton May Improve Rehabilitation After Stroke, Brain InjuryA first-of-its kind robotic exoskeleton may provide the first glimpse into the future of rehabilitation for people suffering from spinal and neurological injuries.

The exoskeleton, dubbed HARMONY, is the result of years of research and development by the ReNeu Robotics Lab at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Ashish Deshpande, PhD, and colleagues designed the two-armed, robotic device to deliver full upper-body rehabilitative therapy using natural motion and customizable pressure and force. As a result, the device feels weightless to patients, and allows physicians and therapists to provide personalized, precise therapy and track and analyze data.

“[HARMONY] was specially designed to offer customized therapy for optimal efficacy,” said Deshpande, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Not only does the exoskeleton adjust to patient size, it can also be programmed to be gentle or firm based on the individual’s therapy needs.”

Unlike currently available robotic devices for rehabilitation, HARMONY encompasses the entire upper body, allowing for bilateral training. The device, which was created with help from Meka Robotics, connects to patients at three points on each side of the upper body and features 14 axes, which allow for a wide, natural range of motion.

Active data collection, which happens 2,000 times per second, is fed back into the device’s programming so that it can consistently provide personalized feedback through changes in force and torque. If a patient’s motion ventures off course, for instance, the device can gently correct that motion. The device is able to mimic key natural motions, including the scapulohumeral rhythm, which could help patients reestablish natural range of motion after injury or stroke. Therapists can also program HARMONY to gradually increase exercise difficulty, and data collected during that process can be used to track a patients’ progress.

A trial of the device will begin in June on healthy subjects, followed by a study with stroke and spinal cord injury patients to evaluate the robot’s efficacy compared to that of conventional therapy.

In the future, the researchers hope to incorporate a gaming element to the device which could simulate daily activities and help patients relearn the basic motions necessary to complete them.

via Robotic Exoskeleton May Improve Rehabilitation After Stroke, Brain Injury.

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