The Birkdale Clinic provides treatment for many people who suffer with Transverse Myelitis (TM) both paediatric and adults some information on the condition can be found on our website by clicking here. We also have a close relationship with two of the Doctors who are experts in TM, these are Dr Adam Kaplin and Dr Daniel Becker who work with The Johns Hopkins Hospital who is renowned for their research into TM. If you would like more information on our neuro physiotherapy please feel free to contact us are details can be found in the contact section of the website.
Johns Hopkins Hospital describes Transverse Myelitis as a “disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. It is characterized by symptoms and signs of neurologic dysfunction in motor and sensory tracts on both sides of the spinal cord. The involvement of motor and sensory control pathways frequently produce altered sensation, weakness and sometimes urinary or bowel dysfunction.
There are four classic symptoms of transverse myelitis:
- weakness in the arms/legs
- sensory symptoms such as numbness or tingling
- pain and discomfort
- bladder dysfunction and/or bowel motility problems
The distribution of those symptoms may be symmetric or asymmetric affecting either legs, arms or both.”
At the Birkdale Clinic we not only treat the condition but the person as well, for example it may be that on a particular session you might need a more relaxing time to help with emotional as well as physical symptoms. At times like this, we might employ a more holistic approach to help you both mentally and physically for example we often use Shiatsu or music and massage therapy.
We also work closely with the Transverse Myelitis Society (http://www.myelitis.org.uk/our-services.html) who gives advice and support to people who suffer with TM. They even offer a Physiotherapy bursary scheme where you can apply to have two sessions with us; this scheme is operated for people who may not be able to afford a private neuro physiotherapist.
The TM Association (http://myelitis.org) also posted an excellent article in there Fall 2014 newsletter which we think we should share with you. It talks about the how the association is using crowd funding to help with their research. Copies of their newsletters are available on their website by clicking here.
“Rare diseases require novel approaches to facilitate scientific study. The Transverse Myelitis Association (TMA) has partnered with Consano, a non-profit crowdfunding platform for medical research, to unite scientific and patient communities to advance our knowledge of transverse myelitis (TM). Consano utilizes a “crowdfunding” platform, a novel and exciting mechanism to enable individuals to donate directly to specific medical research projects and engaging and empowering the patient community served by the research efforts. There are many needs in the TM community and the TMA reviewed several proposals for this endeavor, ultimately selecting the research proposal led by Dr. Lana Harder of Children’s Medical Center Dallas (CMCD) and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) entitled, “Utilizing Brain Imaging to Understand Cognitive Dysfunction in Transverse Myelitis.” Dr. Harder’s previous work with her team at CMCD and UTSW has uncovered cognitive problems (i.e., deficits in memory and attention) in patients affected by TM, suggesting brain involvement, a finding that has been surprising given that the focus of TM research, assessment, and treatment has been on the spinal cord. Findings from the cognition study have led researchers to seek a deeper understanding of the potential impact of TM on the brain and challenged our current knowledge of the central nervous system injury associated with TM.
Utilizing brain-imaging techniques, not routinely performed as part of standard clinical care, Dr. Harder’s study will determine if there is damage to the brain, previously not identified, in patients with TM. This study has the potential to change our understanding of the biology involved in TM, identify new areas of immune-mediated damage, and broaden the scope of current assessment and treatment methods. Through research, we are able to create knowledge that will inform our interventions to improve the quality of life for the patients and families we serve.
There is much to be discovered, but the discoveries will not come solely from physicians and scientists. Studies like these are not possible without the partnership and support of our patient community. We are privileged to have the opportunity to join forces with our patients to advance our understanding of this rare disease. ~ Benjamin Greenberg, MD, MHS & Lana Harder, PhD, ABPP
We have just 80 days to raise the funds to support Dr. Harder’s critically important study. Please help us to make this project a success by going to the Consano website (https://www.consano.org/projects/51-utilizing-brain-imaging-tounderstand-cognitive-dysfunction-in-transverse-myelitis) and donating to this ground breaking work. You are all acutely aware of the need for research on TM. This study and the Consano approach offers all of us this very unique opportunity to make a significant difference for ourselves. If you have family and friends that would be interested in supporting this work, be sure to share this information with them, as well.“