Aquatic Therapy and the Brain
Section: Aquatic Physical Therapy Section
Co-Section: Academy of Geriatric PT,Academy of Neurologic PT
Session Code: AQ-2A-9714
Date: Friday, February 17, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Grand Hyatt San Antonio
Room: Republic A

Speaker(s):   Bruce Becker, MD

Session Type: Educational Sessions
Session Level: Intermediate

The therapeutic use of aquatic immersion has had profound health benefits. Only recently, however, have the effects upon the brain been carefully studied. Immersion produces important effects upon the autonomic nervous system and upon cerebral blood flow. These implications may impact the treatment of stroke, brain injury, Parkinsonism, dementia, and even Alzheimer's disease. During this session, we will focus on the physiologic changes that occur with immersion, producing the cascade of responses that are likely the causal forces producing these autonomic and vascular effects. Though much work needs to be done, the therapeutic benefits may be safely utilized even without a full understanding. This will potentially open a new area for clinical use of aquatic therapy, which is especially exciting in the face of an aging nation concerned with the risks of dementia, stroke, and other neurologic diseases.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the complex cascade of biophysiologic changes that occur during immersion resulting in cerebral alterations.
2. Understand the implications of autonomic nervous system changes that occur during immersion.
3. Be aware of potential therapeutic populations who might benefit from aquatic therapy given this new research.

CEU: 0.2

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