Check out these top resources if you work with people with neurological conditions
We’ve pulled together some of the best resources for clinicians working with people living with neurological conditions. We hope that this list will continue to be updated as more resources are made available so make sure you bookmark / revisit the page in the future. Included within this list:
- Online Courses
- Condition specific resources
If you’ve got resources you think should be added let us know via @physiospot.
The mission of the NeuroCollaborative is to transform healthcare by helping every neuro professional gain clinical excellence.
Their podcast called the I love neuro podcast will definitely help you gain clinical excellence. The team focuses on all things related to neuro practice and with 80 podcasts in their back catalogue you have a lot to catch up on.
The MDTea Podcast
This is a must listen to monthly podcast series which covers a diverse range of topics and whilst not being a neuro specific podcast it is still worth a listen.
You can listen to the entire back catalogue of podcasts via their website which includes additional resources, infographics and references. The podcast is also available via all major podcast streaming services.
Online Learning – Courses & Blogs
There are some great courses out there. You may need to register for some of these and provide an email address, but they are all free to access.
According to the World Health Organisation, a Stroke is defined as an accident to the brain with “rapidly developing clinical signs of focal or global disturbance to cerebral function, with symptoms lasting 24 hours or longer, or leading to death, with no apparent cause other than of vascular origin and includes cerebral infarction, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage”.
It’s a condition where physio intervention is essential to make sure patients get as much quality of life and function as possible after their stroke. Below are some resources you will find indispensable to making this possible.
- Stroke Foundation learning modules – from communication, to recovery of standing, there are a wide range of practical courses to work through.
- Stroke engine e-learning modules – check out the module on aerobic exercise recommendations.
- The World Stroke Academy – a core educational activity of the World Stroke Organization and provides high-quality stroke education to healthcare professionals.
- StrokeEd resources – the StrokeEd Collaboration was established in 2011 and has a wide variety of excellent resources for stroke education including a great blog covering topical issues
- Enable me – is an excellent website (which is aphasia friendly) for patients and clinicians which will quickly help you keep up to date with the latest developments of treatment and rehabilitation.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by chronic inflammation, demyelination, gliosis, and neuronal loss. The course may be relapsing-remitting or progressive in nature. Lesions in the CNS occur at different times and in different CNS locations. Because of this, multiple sclerosis lesions are sometimes said to be “disseminated in time and space.”
The clinical course of the disease is quite variable ranging from stable chronic disease to a rapidly evolving and debilitating illness making its challenging condition to confidently manage in clinical practice. The resources below will help improve your confidence when working with patients who are living with MS.
- Introduction to MS: an online course for fitness & wellness professionals – Six modules and a quiz, all about Multiple Sclerosis symptoms and exercise therapy.
- Multiple Sclerosis Trust Clinical Learning Sections – Includes useful videos on therapeutic handling and links to a variety of resources.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that mostly presents in later life with generalized slowing of movements (bradykinesia) and at least one other symptom of resting tremor or rigidity. Other associated features are a loss of smell, sleep dysfunction, mood disorders, excess salivation, constipation, and excessive periodic limb movements in sleep (REM behavior disorder).
PD is a disorder of the basal ganglia, which is composed of many other nuclei. The striatum receives excitatory and inhibitory input from several parts of the cortex. The key pathology is the loss of dopaminergic neurons that lead to the symptoms. It is the seconds most common neuro-degenerative condition in the world after Alzheimer’s Dementia meaning it is important for all clinicians to have information at their fingertips.
The Parkinson’s UK learning hub is a great place to find this essential information and over 24 hours of training is available for free. There is also the excellence network has loads of resources you can use in your clinical practice and the exercise hub has an exercise bootcamp, just email [email protected] to request access
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a debilitating neurological condition with tremendous socioeconomic impact on affected individuals and the health care system. Today, the estimated lifetime cost of an SCI patient is $2.35 million per patient. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are 12,500 new cases of SCI each year in North America. More than 90% of SCI cases are traumatic and caused by incidences such as traffic accidents, violence, sports, or falls.
The Male-to-female ratio of 2:1 for SCI, which happens more frequently in adults compared to children. Demographically, men are mostly affected during their early and late adulthood (3rd and 8th decades of life) while women are at higher risk during their adolescence (15–19 years) and 7th decade of their lives i.e. age distribution is bimodal, with a first peak involving young adults and a second peak involving adults over the age of 60.
Because of the diversity and variation in both cause and symptoms people living with a spinal injury have, there is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming. The resources below are the best and most accessible for you to get on top of what you need to know.
- eLearn for SCI – professional development modules for people involved in management of those with spinal cord injury.
- Physioplus SCI – this course aims to provide a basic theoretical understanding of the management of Spinal Cord Injury in order to equip physiotherapists with sufficient knowledge to manage a person following a Spinal Cord Injury.
The term “muscular dystrophy” incorporates an assortment of hereditary disorders that lead to progressive, generalized disease of the muscle prompted by inadequate or missing glycoproteins in the muscle cell plasma membrane. Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a non-communicable disorder with abundant variations. Each has its pattern of inheritance, onset period, and the rate at which muscle is lost. Alterations in specific genes cause different representations of this disease.
Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive muscular atrophy and weakness. In most varieties the muscles of the limb girdles (the pelvic and shoulder muscles) are involved. Over time, people with MD lose the ability to do things like walk, sit upright, breathe easily, and move their arms and hands.
There is no cure for MD. Physiotherapists and other health professionals work on improving muscle and joint function and slowing muscle deterioration so people with MD can live as actively and independently as possible. Below are some excellent e-learning modules for you to learn how to keep peopling living with MD as independent as possible.
- Muscular Dystrophy UK eLearning Modules – a variety of topics related to neuromuscular conditions for healthcare professionals.
- Exercise for Muscular Dystrophy – The role of exercise and strength training is controversial because there are two plausible yet conflicting answers. This blog post explains why.
Concussion & Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is “an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force”. It occurs when an external force impacts the brain, and often is caused by a blow, bump, jolt or penetrating wound to the head. However, not all blows or jolts to the head cause traumatic brain injury, some just cause bony damage to the skull, without subsequent injury to the brain. Mild traumatic brain injury is now more commonly referred to as Concussion.
Traumatic brain injury does not always result in obvious motor impairment. Other hidden symptoms related to cognition and behaviour can also occur with traumatic brain injury. The fact that the population living with traumatic brain injury are largely invisible and are not outspoken about their needs plus widespread misunderstanding of the impact of related conditions, has earned the traumatic brain injury the name the “silent epidemic”.
The resources below will help you learn how to manage both visible and invisible consequences of brain injuries.
- Headway Brain injury association resource library – Headway promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers. In addition, Headway will campaign to reduce the incidence of brain injury.
- Physioplus Concussion Programme – This programme of courses provides an in-depth review of concussion neurophysiology, assessment and physiotherapy management.
Apps, Blogs & Other Resources
There are plenty of blogs, apps and other resources available on the internet, too many to include all of them on this list. What we’ve done is add our favourites below.
- WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour – including guidance for those with long-term conditions and those living with disability
- Royal College of GPs e-learning– there is a broad range of subject areas as you’d expect from a GP-focussed site but there’s a well-stocked area on Neurological problems that is worth a look.
- REPS Recovery Exercises -this app consists of post-stroke exercise programs that are guided by videos. The programs were designed to improve and/or maintain strength and mobility, as well as encouraging people after stroke to be more physically active.
- Via Therapy upper extremity stroke rehab programmes – the free VIA Therapy website and App recommends evidence-based upper limb interventions. Users move through a decision tree of key questions about a stroke survivor’s impairments.