Dumfries & Galloway Head Injury Information Day 2019

October 31, 2019 Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The first HIID event of the year took place in Dumfries & Galloway on Wednesday 27th March 2019. Our Director and Senior Case Manager Michaela McGowan along with Case Managers and Occupational Therapists Marie O’Malley and Kirsten Galloway were in attendance. Michaela took part in a panel session at the event which allowed the audience to ask questions and receive advice from the experts on the panel.

Presentations at HIID Dumfries & Galloway included:

Restructuring Rehabilitation in Scotland

Professor Alan Carson provided an overview of current rehab provision in Scotland and plans for this to change. Professor Caron emphasied the importance of quick intervention, citing research showing that mice with lesions to the brain had better outcomes following rehabilitation when treatment was provided early. He also gave a summary of exciting new research looking at pharmacological interventions which may enhance plasticity in the brain, with use of the drug fluoxetine showing promising results. Professor Carson’s presentation highlighted the long term cost benefits of having a clear rehabilitation pathway which provides early intervention, an intensive multidisciplinary approach and team working across disciplines and sectors. As many of us working in the field know, rehabilitation is a team sport with no one size fits all approach.
If you wish to find out more on the research into fluoxetine you can read the study in link below.
Research: ‘Fluoxetine increases plasticity and modulates the proteomic profile in the adult mouse visual cortex’

Rehab and Recovery Through Collaborative Working

This was a presentation given by Kristy Blaen – Senior Occupational Therapist for Cumbria and Scotland, A Chance for Life. Kristy talked about a pilot project that she is under taking with Compass (an organisation dedicated to helping and enabling people who have an acquired brain injury (ABI) and their families and their carers). It is a small project with a sample size of 4, two males and two females’, their ages ranging from 25-60. The aim is to have occupational therapy intervention one day per week for rehabilitation over a period of 6 months using an evidence-based program of treatment, and measurable outcomes. The occupational therapist will train/ up skill the support workers to carry out the rehabilitation goals that have been identified with the client to achieve their personal outcomes. The project was only in its early stages (week 3) and to date had been achieving positive outcomes of the clients.

The Law of Future Damages and Rehab

Chris Stewart – Partner, Digby Brown Solicitors, stressed the importance of getting the right advice at the right time and not to look at the compensation package as a lottery win, as no amount of money can replace your health. Their presentation highlighted that people really need to think of their long term care needs and take this into account when they receive compensation money.

Graeme Lind- Partner, Tilney, discussed investment management and getting the right advice on how to manage your compensation from an accident or injury. Graeme stressed that if you left your money in an everyday account and something was to happen to the bank, then the government would only cover the cost up to £85,000. Graeme explained how inflation can also have an impact on your compensation and if you left your money in an everyday account the potential is there for your money not to stretch as far as it would have 20 years ago.

Is Rugby Bad For The Brain?

Dr Willie Stewart – Consultant Neuropathologist, Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at University of Glasgow and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Stewart spoke about the concussion rates in rugby and the need to reduce this and keep players safe. Players should have enough time to recover if they suffer a concussion. He spoke about various research studies and that data is limited and conflicting. He also noted that autopsy studies show a link with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and professionals playing sports such as American football, rugby and football. Dr Stewart also spoke about studies showing that whilst there may be an increased risk of dementia/CTE it also showed that ex-professional players showed lifelong health benefits in respect of morbidity and mortality with reduced cardiovascular disease in former rugby internationalists.

Dr Stewart is involved in a FIELD research study with the Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group which featured in the news recently, highlighting that former pro footballers had an approx 3.5 times higher rate of death due to neurodegenerative disease, but were less likely to die of diseases such as heart disease and some cancers.

The Journey

Zoe Meek – Community Rehab Manager and John Henry – Support Worker (Dreamcatcher) at Compass Brain Injury Specialists Ltd spoke about Compass’s services and their community rehab work. We then heard from John Henry who spoke about his specific work with one of our own Case Management Services’ clients, Mr Andrew Howatson. John spoke about the work he does with Andrew, the fantastic progress he has made and some of the outings they have supported him with. It was good to hear about the different activities they have managed to involve Andrew in and the progress he continues to make with their support.