MDUK welcomed over 80 neuromuscular physiotherapists from across the country, to come together to share their experience and knowledge. The conference featured a range of presentations which shared the latest research and clinical knowledge and support for individuals living with muscle-wasting conditions.
Talks explored a wide range of important topics, such as Dr Janet Hoskin's talk on co-occurrence of patients with both muscular dystrophy and autism or ADHD where she provided valuable advice on how to best support these children. We also heard from Anna Mayhew who provided an overview on Opentact, an online upskilling tool that provides crucial information to physiotherapists. Robert Muni Lofra and Annemarie Rohwer spoke about SMA Reach UK, a database project funded by MDUK which provides neuromuscular teams with data related to SMA. The data on functional assessments showed a detailed breakdown for non-sitters, sitters and walkers. This was followed by an update by Aleksandra Pietrusz on the Adult NorthStar database, another MDUK-funded database dealing specifically with Duchenne data collection.
As well as a thorough outline of cutting-edge data, there was also an opportunity to hear about innovative pragmatic management strategies, such as the pilot app 'Flexterity', which aims to track virtual physiotherapy exercises, to help guide people whilst on waiting lists. Marina di Marco also gave some valuable practical insights such as day-to-day obstacles in physical activity readiness in muscle conditions. For instance, time constraints, fear of where to begin, mental health issues and environmental factors all played a role.
Sunitha Narayan rounded off the day with a discussion of the logic behind the creation of adult Duchenne muscular dystrophy therapy guidelines, which will be released in May. She gave a detailed background of the journey towards producing the final draft. With support from across the country and across specialisms such as Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy, it was a testament to teamwork to create this vital document for adult Duchenne therapy.
The day demonstrated an enormous breadth and depth in terms of different conditions, different expertise and different regional representation. We were delighted to learn so much from the experts and we were pleased to facilitate such constructive collaborative talks between specialists across the country.
The MDUK Neuromuscular Physiotherapy Conference 2022 was kindly supported by Novartis, Roche and Sarepta Therapeutics.
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