Category: Latest News

Are cognitive screening tests still reliable?

The cognitive performance of US President Donald Trump hit the headlines when it was announced he had passed the MoCA test. The news sparked a flurry of conversation and saw the test, a widely used cognitive screening tool, posted on news websites across the globe. But the media attention and sudden interest in the test has health professionals concerned. With the questions freely distributed across the internet, has the validity and reliability of the MoCA been compromised?   What is the MoCA? The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a well-researched and widely used cognitive screening tool for detecting mild...

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Dementia study adds to calls for more funding of music therapy

The symptoms of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with dementia could significantly improve by listening to and playing music, according to a report. The study, which compiled existing evidence as well as talking to experts, found music can help people with dementia recall information and reduce symptoms such as anxiety, agitation and aggression. It argued that not enough funding was being placed in this area and more work needed to be done to raise awareness and ensure more people can access this form of therapy. One woman quoted in the research said of her 62-year-old husband, who has...

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Rochester provides hope for the hard of hearing

Rochester, New York, has the highest population per capita of deaf people in the United States. According to a new report by Rochester Institute of Technology, there are almost 42,000 deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals in the Rochester community. Of those, almost 19,000 are under the age of 65.

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Can you train your brain?

Brain Training is a popular subject in rehabilitation at the moment.  The development of computerised programmes coupled with the clinician’s desire to improve cognitive functioning has encouraged more research in this area. Unfortunately, evidence to support brain training is not as concrete as we would like. Some studies demonstrate successful findings but it has been found that commercial providers of brain games have been funding this research and so the findings may be questionable. When brain training first began in the 1970’s and 80’s it was used extensively in rehabilitation. After some research it was found that the participants...

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Quiet revolution puts occupational therapists at the forefront of healthcare

It is a crisis that threatens to cripple the NHS. Around 8,000 patients are stuck in hospital beds in England every day because of discharging delays, costing the NHS up to £900m a year. The figures, revealed early this year in an independent inquiry commissioned by the government, show one in 10 beds is taken by someone medically fit to be released. But OTs may offer a solution. Growing numbers are assessing patients needing urgent care and supporting them to remain in their own homes in a quiet revolution that is seeing them move to the forefront of healthcare. Evidence...

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