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Q1 – 2024 Newsletter

Our new website plus special reports on impact of brain injury

18 January 2024   |   Gyrus Group

Welcome to our newsletter:

  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Microstructural Brain Changes in Childhood mild TBI
  • The Use of Orthotics following brain injury

New website is live!

Our new website is now live. Watch this space and you’ll be able to see more from Gyrus, read all our articles and get in touch with our Team.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Each year, around 2,500 individuals in the UK sustain new spinal cord injuries with over 50,000 living with injury year on year. Annually, there are approximately 13,300 hospital emergency visits due to spinal injuries with 51% resulting in tetraplegia. The two leading causes of SCI in 2019 were falls and road injuries and many can be life changing.

Read our expert report here

Source: Backup Trust. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Spinal Cord Injuries Collaborators recently published findings on the global burden of spinal cord injuries from 2019 data. The Lancet, report here.

Microstructural Brain Changes in Childhood mild TBI

Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in inflammation which in turn can cause permanent microscopic structural changes in the brain. Scientists at the University of Queensland have identified evidence of ‘microstructural reorganisation’ in the brains of children with persistent symptoms following mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), using specialist MRI protocols. With more research, these findings could be used in clinical practice to determine whether mTBI (such as a concussion) is likely to cause lasting symptoms in children. In turn, this research could contribute to better understanding of when it is safe for the injured child to return to education and sports activities.

Read our expert report here

Source: Journal of Neurotrauma here (paywall).

The Role of Orthotics in Patients with TBI

Clinical Lead Orthotist and Expert Witness, Rehana Ali, tells us about the use of orthotics in patients with TBI.

Orthotics are a valuable tool in the management of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who experience physical impairments, such as gait and balance disturbances, spasticity, and weakness. These devices are designed to support, align, or enhance the function of the body and can significantly benefit individuals with TBI. In the acute phase of treatment following injury, PRAFOS (pressure relieving ankle foot orthoses) are often used to maintain the range of motion at the foot and ankle while a patient is in hospital. These can also reduce the risk of pressure sores. Where there is spasticity, anti- contracture devices (both upper limb and lower limb) can be incorporated into the treatment plan, which can complement Botox Injections in order to maintain the range at the affected joint. Helmets can be custom made for protection as required and more cosmetic options are now available.

The use of Dynamic Lycra Garments can be beneficial in dampening tone and improving pelvic stability and proprioception. They work using strategically placed panelling which improves body alignment. This new positioning stimulates sensory systems and has been found to encourage neuroplasticity, ensuring that muscles operate in their new state of optimal alignment. These garments can range from a full suit or shorts to arm sleeve.

In my experience, incorporating orthotic devices into a comprehensive treatment plan which will evolve with the patient’s rehabilitation needs and goals can significantly improve their quality of life, and working collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team can enhance their mobility, independence, and overall function.

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Team news

Gyrus Group are pleased to welcome Claudia Matos to the team. Claudia will be leading on client relations, and looks forward to getting to know you and understanding your needs in the coming weeks and months.