Physical Therapists Can Reduce the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease?!

As of 8.29.16, I am a second year DPT student. I survived first year easy enough, or I would like to think so. I had my fair share of struggles, I did, but I am simply happy to still be alive. As students, we often forget that our time is an investment. It is easy to be distracted by the sheer volume of information required of us, the cyclic patterns of business, trying to maintain a sleep schedule, and the ever ubiquitous thought: graduation.

Second year imbues us with a lot of those same distractions, but also stuns us with its own dangers. Enter: the PICO presentation. Fortunately for me, I have until next semester to prepare (February sometime… more on that later), but some of my wonderful classmates presented last Friday. I respect them for tackling such a daunting task early on. Let me shed a little perspective, a PICO presentation at its roots is a research question. The point of this question is to solve a problem using information and research gathered. You present your findings, answer the question, and make a claim for its relevance to treatment. You present your analysis to classmates and all faculty to try and convince them of your educated opinion. Again, a daunting task. I commend the 4 peers that buckled down and presented first.

The first presenter was Katie Mullen. I tweeted during her presentation, “ blowing minds with her presentation about and using as the potential standard treatment! .” Katie crushed it, and I am fully behind her analysis that physical therapists should be an integral part of the Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment. I say this not only as a student learning these concepts, but also as a caregiver. Not many people know, but this disease will always hold a place in my heart. This disease, along with Parkinson’s, is something that has impacted me personally. My great-grandmother, who lived with us for a big portion of my life, was diagnosed and lived with these diseases. I will not say she passed away because of the diseases themselves, but they did contribute to a decreased quality of life.

Not a day goes by that I do not ponder my own chances of diagnosis, as well as my family’s chances. Either situation would have a profound effect on my life.

Fortunately, I now know more about these diagnoses, and have the ability to make a difference in future treatments. I am pleased to be part of a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and for knowing Katie. She is going to make a huge difference, just wait and see.

Her idea should be the gold standard of care for Alzheimer’s disease.

Link is below:

Physical Therapists Can Reduce the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease

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