Archive for July, 2012

Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia SCA6

Posted on July 28, 2012. Filed under: Cerebellar ataxia | Tags: , , , , |

Yesterday I heard via email from Arlene so I will tell you about her. Arlene is Rolynn’s mom. She was able to walk with a walker and occasionally used a cane. Rolynn had let her mother try her vest when she first got back to Texas six weeks ago.  Arlene was able to take a few independent steps!  They were excited to see if I could get her established with a BalanceWear vest so she would be able to walk with a cane.

Arlene was much more incapacitated than her daughter but Balance-Based Torso-Weighting was able to make a difference for her. Like Rolynn she had a rotation problem; Arlene’s was at the pelvis and she had difficulty with loss of balance backwards and sideways. In addition she had difficulty with heel shin coordination and writing. She was weighted with just over a pound and a half and she was able to walk about 10 feet with someone very close by her side and occasionally giving her a slight amount of help. When I tried to get the weights situated in the vest we noticed that she wasnt as good. I worked quite a bit and then moved the weight in the back 1/8th inch and  she was much more stable again. Really just moving the weight 1/8th inch made the difference between walking unsteady to walking with much more control. The other great thing BalanceWear achieved was that Arlene stood straighted when she walked. It amazes me.

A few days back I heard from Rolynn.

“We are all doing very well. I continue to improve and the new weighting seems to be right.  I have been trying to challenge myself to do things like moving side to side.  Mom is taking more steps unaided.  She is very pleased. I haven’t spoken to Mia since we returned, but she was very encouraged when we left.

I am so thankful to have met you and cannot tell you how much you mean to my entire family.  My Mom thinks she will be able to be escorted down the aisle at my son’s wedding instead of riding on a golf cart ( it is outside).  This has been an incredible experience and has given us all hope when we thought there was none.”

I always encourage patients to see a physical therapist in their area. Yesterday I got an email from Arlene.

“I am doing great with the BalanceWear.  I will start my balance therapy on Wednesday and I am really looking forward to that.  I hope you are doing good. It was an awesome trip to Oakland. Thank you.” Arlene

The combination of BalanceWear and therapy is awesome. They can be separate but together the patient has the best chance to make positive changes.

Next week we will discuss Mia and I will show you the changes in handwriting that Mia and Arlene got immediately with the use of BalanceWear.

Until then be happy, keep active, and think positive thought about finding interventions that can help YOU:-)


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Spino Cerebellar Ataxia SCA6

Posted on July 27, 2012. Filed under: Cerebellar ataxia | Tags: , , |

Rolynn returned week six with her aunt Mia on the left, Rolynn in the middle and her mother Arlene on the right. They came in and I began the evaluation to  determine if I could help Rolynn’s Aunt and mother. Roynn had not worn her vest in three days. When I tested her she could lie down without any dizziness without the vest and NO downbeat nystagmus. In addition her heel to shin was as good as it ever had been even with the vest on…..and when I retested her she had gained a lot of stability. She no longer rotated or lost her balance backwards like she had. I was able to take one pound out of her vest. She still has 3/4 pounds. If you are joining please read the two posts prior as I have described all of the medical terms that I am speaking about today.If you  want to know what the vests look like then take a look at the ones above. Motion Therapeutics has strived to make the vests look like normal clothes. I think they have.

Stayed Tuned. We will discuss Arelene in the next day or so.


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Spino Cerebellar ataxia SCA6

Posted on July 26, 2012. Filed under: Cerebellar ataxia | Tags: , , , |

Two days after Rolynn was fit with BalanceWear her ability to do a heel shin coordination test was better. She could feel improvement in her walking. She packed her bag and placed the BalanceWear device in her suitcase. She relayed to me that her ability to walk through the airport was easier for her than when she arrived. I kept in touch with her via email and texting. On one communication she relayed to me she was able to walk across the grass now without feeling so unstable. She would wear BalanceWear for two to four hours per day the first few weeks. She reported many things were easier for her including texting! She reported her body was keeping some of the information from BalanceWear. Interesting and exciting!  By week four she felt like the BalanceWear orthotic was a bit heavy for her. She returned to see me on week six with her mother and aunt… be continued:-)

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SpinoCerebellar ataxia

Posted on July 23, 2012. Filed under: Cerebellar ataxia | Tags: , , , , |

There are many forms of SpinoCerebellar Ataxia: We are going to discuss the following three cases with SCA6.
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is a late onset rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by peripheral neurapathy (loss of sensation to the feet), poor control of the trunk, wide based gait and uncoordinated walking. Patients will often exhibit oculomotor (eye movement) disorders, dysarthria (poorly articulated speech) and incontinence. The cerebellar degeneration is said to be progressive and permanent.
Prior to being diagnosed, patients may report wooziness, slight imbalance when turning corners, and note lack of coordination, dizziness. The age the disorder typically develops is between 43-52years however this can vary from 19-71years. Other signs of SCA6 are nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movement) and loss of vibratory sense.
I recently saw three women with SCA6 and had good results with Balance-Based Torso-Weighting (BBTW). Today I will write about Rolynn and our first visit…I saw her twice.
I saw Rolynn for the first time in June 5, 2012. She is the youngest and the most able of the three. Rolynn was able to walk without any assistive devices. She complained of difficulty walking. “I feel like I am on a trampoline. If I could just carry a cup of coffee without spilling I would be happy. One of the first things I noticed with this disorder is that when I would lie back on the bed I would feel so dizzy.” She demonstrated how she had to lay down. She would lay on her side with her arm supporting her head, she stayed in that position for a few moments. Then she would let her head down on the bed while she was on her side and rest for a few more seconds. The she would roll the bottom half of her body on to her back wait and then bring her head around. That was the only way she could lay on her back without dizziness. The other major symptom was inability to touch her heel to her shin in a coordination test. She had jerkiness when she first stood up (loss of balance) and often could not stand and just start walking.
After applying BalanceWear on the same day, Rolynn was able to lay down without having to perform the procedure mentioned above. Videos were taken and she didn’t have the downbeat nystagmus (Meaning the eye beats downward) as much while wearing BalanceWear.. Her heel-shin coordination test improved so that she could touch her shin yet it was still jerky but she could get the heel to the shin now…on the same day! Her ability to get up from sitting and stand and walk improved as well as her walking. When I arrived to check her out the next day….To be continued stay tuned


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