Research Reports - A multidimensional physical therapy program for individuals with cerebellar ataxia secondary to traumatic brain injury

Physiother Theory Pract. 2013 Jul 25

Sartor-Glittenberg C, Brickner L

Abstract The purpose of this case series is to describe changes in impairments
and activity limitations in three individuals with severe cerebellar ataxia from
traumatic brain injury (TBI) who participated in a long-term, multidimensional
physical therapy program. A secondary purpose is to document use of a climbing
wall for these persons. Each of the individuals had a TBI, severe ataxia and was
admitted to a transitional neuro-rehabilitation day treatment program. The first
person, a 22-year-old, was 6 years post injury and had 127 individual physical
therapy sessions over 12 months. The second person, a 16-year-old, was 5½ months
post injury and had 187 individual therapy sessions over 19 months. The third
person, a 20-year-old, was 6 months post injury and had 89 individual therapy
sessions over 23 months. An integrative treatment approach was used, and the
individuals participated in activities to minimize ataxia and improve mobility.
Each of them made gains in coordination, balance, balance confidence, endurance
and mobility. The three individuals with cerebellar ataxia participated in a
long-term, individualized, multidimensional physical therapy treatment program,
and made improvements in all areas of impairment and activity limitations. This
study reinforces the need for long-term, multidimensional physical therapy for
individuals with ataxia.

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