Monthly Archives: March 2016

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

NCART-Blog-Understanding-MS

In our last blog, we took a closer look at Traumatic Brain Injuries, one of the conditions those who use complex rehab often live with. For today’s blog, we’re going to look at another condition: multiple sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis occurs when the myelin coating around the nerve fibers in the central nervous system become damaged, leading to an interference with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body. One analogy people often use is that multiple sclerosis is akin to an electrical wire that’s been stripped of its protective coating.

Who gets Multiple Sclerosis?

Doctors aren’t sure what causes multiple sclerosis, but they think it may have something to do with people being pre-disposed to it and then being exposed to something in their environment that sets it off. It has not been proven to be hereditary, but doctors do know that it’s much more prevalent among those of northern European descent. Women are also more prone to developing it than men. Multiple sclerosis usually develops between the ages of 20-50, but some have had it as young as 2 and as old as 75.

What are the signs of Multiple Sclerosis?

Some of the common signs include:

  • Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
  • Partial or complete loss of central vision, usually in one eye, often with pain during eye
    movement (optic neuritis)
  • Double vision or blurring of vision
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
  • Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

 

These symptoms can also appear in other diseases, so if you experience any of these, make sure you’re tested by your doctor.

At NCART, we fight for those who are living with Multiple Sclerosis, to make sure they can have access to medically-necessary complex rehab technology.

We would like to acknowledge the work that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has done for those who are living with MS. They seek a cure to the disease, as well as offer resources to those who live with multiple sclerosis. We would also like to recognize the work of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America for their contributions to finding a cure.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

NCART-Blog-Understanding-Traumatic-Brain-Injury

In last month’s blog, we talked about a few of the conditions people who use complex rehab are living with. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at another one of these conditions: Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI.

TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths.

Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI.  Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. In 2010, about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with TBI—either alone or in combination with other injuries—in the United States.

A TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. A rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head, which can force the brain to move back and forth inside the skull, can also cause TBI.

Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). Many times, those who have experienced TBI lose motor skill function, and as a result, they rely on complex rehab technology to help them with everyday life.

Here at NCART, we fight to make sure that those who have suffered from TBI continue to receive Medicare coverage for their medically-necessary wheelchairs. We encourage you to contact your representatives in congress to let them know that they should support Medicare funding for complex rehab technology.

We would also like to recognize the work of the Brain Injury Association of America for their contributions to this cause. They are the voice of advocacy on Capitol Hill for those who have suffered from brain injuries.

NCART would also like to recognize the work of the Brain Injury Network for bringing awareness to the rights and issues of those who are living with brain injuries.

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