Objective: N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP) levels were investigated to predict outcomes for elderly patients in a convalescent rehabilitation ward. Methods: The study included 75 patients aged at least 75 years who were admitted to the convalescent rehabilitation ward of Naruto-Yamakami Hospital. Based on NTproBNP levels on admission, the patients were divided into those with NTproBNP levels ≥400 pg/ml (Group A) and those with NTproBNP levels <400 pg/ml (Group B). Patients were also divided into three groups according to their outcomes: Group I, death-related discharge or emergency transfer; Group II, home discharge; and Group III, medical/nursing care continuation. Group A patients were further divided, according to the time course of NTproBNP levels, into Group A-I (levels increased) and A-II (levels unchanged/decreased). The correlation coefficients between outcomes and each measurement index were determined, and discriminant analysis was performed among the groups. Results: The NTproBNP level on hospitalization was significantly higher in Group I than in Groups II and III. There were significantly more death-related discharges and emergency transfers in Group A than in Group B and in Group A-I than in Group A-II. In discriminant analysis, assuming the outcome to be a dependent variable in Group A-I and Group A-II, the canonical correlation was 0.81 (P<0.05). Conclusion: The study findings suggest that NTproBNP levels are useful for predicting patient outcomes.
Background: Amantadine is widely used to improve reduced spontaneity and prevent aspiration pneumonia. There are few reports on cases of amantadine intoxication in the field of rehabilitation. Cases: Case 1 involved an 83-year-old man with a history of a lacunar infarction who was transferred to our rehabilitation hospital after a left femoral neck fracture and a left upper arm fracture. He had mild renal dysfunction. Although he was started on oral amantadine 150 mg/dayto reverse a decline in spontaneity, he could not begin rehabilitation therapy because of hallucinations and myoclonus. Furthermore, he developed aspiration pneumonia as a result of a consciousness disorder. After stopping amantadine, his toxic symptoms disappeared completely. Case 2 involved a 53-year-old man who was transferred to our hospital for rehabilitation after a brain contusion. He was started on oral amantadine 100 mg/day to reverse a decline in spontaneity. After amantadine was increased to 150 mg/day, myoclonus and hallucinations developed. At that time, his renal function was mildly impaired. The concentration of amantadine in his blood serum was found to be 4783 ng/dl. After amantadine was stopped, his spontaneity decline recurred. After restarting amantadine at 50 mg/day, his toxic symptoms did not reappear, and the decline in his spontaneity improved. Discussion: Amantadine is a renally excreted drug that may cause toxic symptoms as a result of decreased renal function. It is necessary to monitor renal function and toxic symptoms when amantadine is administered in rehabilitation hospitals.
Objective: This study investigated the optimum conditions for obtaining valid step-count measurements for patients with abnormal gait. Methods: Subjects comprised 61 hospitalized patients with abnormal gait. Four different devices were tested: Active Style Pro (AS), Walking Style (WS), Lifecorder PLUS, and Steps. The same device type was attached to the waist on both the affected and the unaffected side. Patients then walked 25 m at a comfortable speed. This test was repeated four times, once for each device. The measurement error (ME) and walking parameters (gait velocity, step length, and cadence) were calculated from the test data. ME scores smaller than 3% and 10% were classified as valid: scores above these standards were classified as invalid. Walking parameter values that identified the invalid group with a specificity of 0.95 were set as the cut-off velocity (COV), the cut-off step length (COS), and the cut-off cadence. Sensitivity values >0.40 and positive predictive values >80% were then set as necessary conditions. Results: COV values were 0.90 m/s (AS on the unaffected side at 3% ME and AS on the affected side or the unaffected side at 10% ME), 0.92 m/s (WS on the unaffected side at 10% ME), and 0.98 m/s (WS on the affected side at 3% ME). COS values were 0.50 m (AS on the affected side at 10% ME) and 0.52 m (AS on the unaffected side at 3% ME). Conclusion: The most accurate measurements were obtained using AS attached to the unaffected side with a gait velocity of >0.90 m/s.
Objective: Studies on the outcomes of lower limb amputation have been limited by the use of selected study populations and small sample sizes. Although reamputation is an important outcome following lower limb amputation, the risk factors for reamputation remain to be elucidated. The present study was performed to identify risk factors for in-hospital death and reamputation following lower limb amputation. Methods: Using a national inpatient database in Japan, we identified 13,774 patients who underwent lower limb amputation. We examined the patients’ backgrounds and employed a multivariable logistic regression analysis to identify factors associated with in-hospital death or reamputation. Results: The average age of the 13,774 patients was 72.4 years, and 63.1% (n=8694) were male. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 10.8% (1481/13,774). The reamputation rate was 10.1% (782/7779) for patients who initially underwent foot or transtibial amputation (18.2% [391/2148] for foot amputations and 6.9% [391/5631] for transtibial amputations). Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed higher age, male sex, peripheral vascular disease, use of insulin, hemodialysis, and higher numbers of comorbidities as significant risk factors for reamputation or in-hospital death. Use of hemodialysis was the strongest risk factor (odds ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.87–2.35). Conclusions: The in-hospital mortality and reamputation rates following lower limb amputation were considerably high, reflecting the severely ill conditions of patients with advanced chronic diseases. Risk factors for in-hospital death and reamputation following lower limb amputation were identified. These should aid surgeons in determining a patient’s risk of a poor outcome and deciding on the level of amputation.
Objective: With respect to liver function and heart failure, 46% of acute decompensated heart failure patients exhibit abnormal liver function. However, there have been no reports of the association between liver function and functional capacity in these patients. Our aim was to clarify the relationship between liver function and functional capacity using the peak oxygen uptake (VO2). Methods: We retrospectively identified 36 heart failure patients who were referred to our rehabilitation laboratory. These patients underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX). Furthermore, we investigated the correlations between peak VO2, blood measurements [e.g., total bilirubin (T-bil) and brain natriuretic peptide], and echocardiographic parameters. Finally, multivariate regression analysis was performed to investigate the independent variables related to peak VO2. Results: The mean peak VO2 was 10.7±2.9 ml/kg/min. Peak VO2 during CPX correlated inversely with T-bil [r=–0.379, 95% confidence intervals (CI): −0.654 to −0.014, P=0.043], aspartate transaminase (r=–0.426, 95% CI: −0.685 to −0.07, P=0.021), and peak heart rate (r=0.391, 95% CI: 0.029 to 0.663, P=0.036). The significant independent factors associated with peak VO2 were treatment with statin (β=–3.19, P=0.015) and T-bil levels (β=–4.27, P=0.002). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that liver function may contribute to the functional capacity in heart failure patients.
Objective: The aim of the present study was to determine the test–retest reliability of the angle of subjective verticality in healthy young persons. Methods: The participants were ten young healthy adults, five men and five women. The subjective postural vertical (SPV) was measured in the frontal plane (with eyes open and eyes closed) and in the sagittal plane (with eyes closed). Participants were retested 1 week after the first test. The test–retest reliability for each parameter was estimated using the intra-class correlation coefficient [ICC(1,1)], and the minimal detectable change (MDC) scores were established with a confidence level of 95%. Results: The test–retest reliability for the SPV was substantial (ICC ≥0.61). The MDC95 values of the SPVs ranged from 1.1° to 2.1°. Conclusions: The test–retest reliability of the postural vertical in the frontal and sagittal planes was sufficiently high in healthy young participants.
Objective: Recently, eye patching has been used as a technique for adjusting visual information. However, there are differing opinions regarding the influence of eye patching on visual attention in hemispatial neglect. Studies on eye patching do not usually consider the effects of differences in task difficulty or reaction space. Moreover, to date, no trial has used neglected-field eye patching. We investigated the effect on hemispatial neglect of hemi-visual field eye-patching glasses in a patient with left spatial neglect. Methods: The patient was an 86-year-old woman who had suffered a stroke. She had severe left hemiparesis and left spatial neglect. Three types of eye-patching glasses were used: right-field patching, left-field patching, and no patching. The line bisection test, the line crossing test, the star cancellation test, and the letter cancellation test were carried out for the three eye-patching conditions. Results: The line bisection test results showed rightward deviations for both left and right patching compared to no patching. For the line crossing test, there were no omission errors for any patching condition. In the star cancellation test, there were small differences between the three patching conditions. However, in the letter cancellation test, the fewest omission errors occurred during left-field patching, with the most notable improvement on the right half of the test paper. Conclusion: The results suggest that neglected-field eye patching for hemispatial neglect might improve visual attention, especially the non-spatial aspects.
Objective: Eating is important in rehabilitation and is evaluated using joint angles that serve as kinematic information. Joint angles of the upper extremities during eating have been reported for men and for women; however, no study has investigated these joint angles in terms of gender differences. At present, no information is available on gender differences as individual factors of upper extremity joint angles during eating. Therefore, the present study investigated gender differences in upper limb joint angles during eating tasks involving a spoon or chopsticks. Methods: We examined eating motions in 12 healthy Japanese men and 13 healthy Japanese women (aged 20–39 years) and compared the two groups. Motions were assessed using inertial sensors and three-dimensional motion analysis. Results: We established, separately for men and women, the maximum angle and the range of motion (RoM) for each upper limb joint. Women generally had greater RoMs for all upper limb joints than men did. When subjects used a spoon, statistically significant differences and large effect sizes were observed for the maximum elbow joint flexion angle and the RoMs of the shoulder joint in abduction, flexion, and internal rotation. When subjects used chopsticks, statistically significant differences and large effect sizes were observed for maximum angles of shoulder joint internal rotation, elbow joint flexion, and wrist joint radial flexion and for the RoM of shoulder joint abduction. Conclusions: We concluded that there are significant gender differences in upper limb joint angles during eating, and that these differences are influenced by numerous factors.
Objective: The purpose of the present study was to describe a test to evaluate the maintenance of posture by measuring the inter-foot distance (IFD) during tandem stance. Methods: The subjects were 38 young healthy volunteers (age 29 ± 6 years, 17 men). A three-dimensional motion analysis system and a split-belt treadmill were used to collect data. The subjects allowed their front leg to move across the front of their body according to the treadmill belt movement. The maximum IFD was defined as the IFD when either foot was removed from the treadmill belt while the subject maintained a standing posture. Measurements were made under four conditions: the dominant and non-dominant leg placed in front of the body and treadmill belt velocities of 0.5 and 1.0 km/h. Data were analyzed using two-way analysis of variance. Results: The normalized maximum IFD was 10–12% of subject height. There was no significant interaction between the front leg and the treadmill belt velocity (P=0.42). There was a significant main effect of the front leg on the normalized maximum IFD: the normalized maximum IFD was larger when the dominant foot was in front of the body than when the non-dominant foot was in front of the body (P=0.044). There was no significant main effect of the treadmill belt velocity on the normalized maximum IFD (P=0.97). Conclusion: The normalized maximum IFD was significantly affected by which leg was placed in front.
Objective: Venous thromboembolism can be prevented by physical prophylaxis, such as active ankle exercise (AAE), in addition to pharmacological treatment. However, the relationship between the intensity of triceps surae (TS) exercise and venous flow is unclear, and physical thromboprophylaxis has not been established for patients with leg cast immobilization. The goals of the current study were to clarify the degree of intensity of TS isotonic contraction required to increase peak blood velocity (PV) in the superficial femoral vein to higher than that at no resistance and to determine if TS isometric contraction can increase PV. Methods: A prospective, nonrandomized, controlled trial was performed in 20 healthy young adult men. PVs at rest and during one TS isotonic or isometric contraction were measured using Doppler ultrasonography. Isotonic contraction intensity was defined as no resistance with contraction of maximum effort and 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of one repetition maximum (1RM). Isometric contraction intensity was defined as 15–35%, 40–60%, 65–85%, and 90–100% of the maximal voluntary contraction. Results: Isotonic contraction at 75% 1RM (51.4 cm/s [95% CI, 40.1–62.6]) and 100% 1RM (54.9 cm/s [95% CI, 43.1–66.7]) significantly increased PV compared to that with no resistance (41.0 cm/s [95% CI, 32.2–49.8]) (P=0.005, 0.001, respectively). Isometric contraction increased PV significantly at all intensities (all P≤0.002). Conclusions: Applying resistance at ≥75% 1RM increases venous flow and enhances the effect of AAE with TS isotonic contraction. TS isometric contraction may serve as thromboprophylaxis for patients undergoing leg cast immobilization.
Objective: Hemodialysis (HD) patients have lower fitness levels than healthy subjects because of various structural, metabolic, and functional abnormalities secondary to uremic changes in skeletal muscles. Aerobic and resistance exercises are beneficial in improving not only physical function, including maximal oxygen uptake and muscle strength, but also anthropometrics, nutritional status, and hematologic indices. The use of electric ergometers that place light loads on patients has been implemented at many dialysis facilities in Japan. However, reports comparing the effects on body function of electric and variable-load ergometers are few. This study aimed to compare electric ergometers and variable-load ergometers in terms of exercise outcomes in HD patients. Methods: A total of 15 ambulatory HD patients were randomly divided into two groups: the variable-load ergometer group (n=8) and the electric ergometer group (n=7). HD patients exercised at a level based on their physical function three times a week for 12 weeks. Results: After the 12-week intervention period, only the variable-load ergometer group experienced significant increases in lower extremity muscle strength and exercise tolerance. Conclusion: This study confirmed that conventional aerobic training and electric bike exercise during HD were efficacious and safe without causing sudden hypotension or any other side effects. However, exercise using a variable-load ergometer may be more effective than exercise using an electric bike in improving the physical function of HD patients. Exercise using a variable-load ergometer elicited specific whole-body and local effects.
Objective: The objective of the current study was to identify simple outcome measures to predict walking independence in inpatients with medical diseases in acute care hospitals and to identify the cut-off values of the relevant measures. Methods: Two hundred inpatients aged 20 years or above who had a medical disease were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. The subjects’ walking independence, physical characteristics, cognitive status, and blood test data were examined. Logistic regression analysis was performed, and cut-off values were calculated. Results: The identified outcome measures and their respective cut-off values were as follows: the straight leg raising (SLR) repetition count, 27; the one-leg standing time (OLST), 3.6 s; and the orientation score of the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), 9/10. Conclusions: Our study findings suggest that the SLR repetition count, OLST, and the MMSE orientation score are simple outcome measures related to walking independence in inpatients with medical diseases in acute care hospitals.
Objective: We retrospectively investigated the preoperative and postoperative sports and physical activities (SPA) of elderly patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis who underwent opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy (OWHTO). Methods: Fifty-six patients (62 knees) with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis were included in the study. The patients comprised 45 women and 11 men with a mean age at surgery of 71.6 years (range, 65–81 years). The mean follow-up period was 51±7 months. Patients who performed SPA to maintain their health for at least 30 min per session more than once a week were defined as SPA cases. The preoperative and postoperative ratios of SPA cases, the time to resuming or starting postoperative SPA, and the frequency of performing postoperative SPA were investigated. Clinical results were assessed using the Lysholm score. Results: Fifteen patients (26.7%) performed SPA before OWHTO and 14 (25.0%) performed SPA after OWHTO (P=0.21). The mean time to resuming or starting SPA after surgery was 14.1±10.0 months, and the frequency of postoperative SPA sessions was 4.2±2.1 per week. The mean Lysholm score significantly improved from 60.8±8.9 preoperatively to 92.5±2.5 postoperatively (P<0.0001). Conclusion: The ratio of patients who performed SPA after OWHTO was still <30% , and it took a comparatively long time for patients to resume or start SPA after surgery.
Objective: Rotator cuff tears can influence shoulder kinematics and severely impair function. However, there have been no studies on three-dimensional (3D) shoulder kinematics in massive rotator cuff tear (MRCT) patients. Hypothesizing that MRCT patients could demonstrate significantly changed scapular kinematics during arm elevation in the scapular plane, we compared 3D scapular kinematics in the scapular plane between MRCT patients and healthy elderly subjects. Methods: We assessed 15 shoulders of 11 MRCT patients and 16 shoulders of 16 healthy subjects. With the subjects seated, we used an electromagnetic tracking system to calculate the upward rotation, posterior tilt, and internal rotation of the scapula at 10° increments from 30° to 120° with respect to the thorax. We performed two-way analysis of covariance with the initial position of the scapular motion as the covariate and performed multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni method. Results: MRCT patients exhibited significantly higher scapular upward rotation than did the healthy subjects (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences between groups with regard to posterior tilt and internal rotation. Conclusions: This study indicated that when MRCT patients elevated their arms, they exhibited a significantly higher scapular upward rotation at low- to mid-range elevations compared with that of healthy subjects. This difference may have resulted from a compensatory effect in response to the decreased elevation torque caused by the loss of rotator cuff function. These results may assist rehabilitation strategies to improve active arm elevation in MRCT patients.
Objective: Rehabilitation for dementia is important in Roken Geriatric Health Service Facilities in Japan. This study evaluated the effects of a cooking program as rehabilitation for elderly residents with dementia. Methods: We carried out a 12-week cooking program based on the five principles of brain-activating rehabilitation (BAR): fostering a pleasant atmosphere, interactive communication, establishing social roles, giving and receiving praise, and errorless learning. The program was carried out in small groups and consisted of 90-min classes once a week. Participants were 36 elderly residents with dementia (mean 85.4 ± 6.5 years) who were randomly divided into intervention (n = 18) and control (n = 18) groups. The control group participated in recreation and both groups received individual conventional rehabilitation twice a week for 30 min. The effects of intervention were evaluated using nine outcome measures. Results: A total of 29 participants were included in the analysis (two-way analysis of variance). The attendance rate was 86.6% in the intervention group (n = 13). The Yamaguchi Kanji Symbol Substitution Test (executive function) showed significant interaction (F(1, 27) = 4.305, P = 0.048) between the two groups: the control group (n = 16) showed significant deterioration (pre 4.9 ± 5.6 to post 3.0 ± 4.9; P = 0.032). The dementia behavior disturbance scale also showed significant interaction (F(1, 29) = 13.298, P = 0.001): the intervention group (n = 16) showed significant improvement (pre 21.6 ± 12.2 to post 11.4 ± 11.5; P < 0.001). No significant differences were observed in the other outcome measures. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a cooking program based on BAR can reduce the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and maintain executive function.
Objective: Elderly people’s success in attaining rehabilitation goals may be heavily dependent on their achievement motive, but research has not identified the factors that impact on achievement motive or suggested any effective interventions to enhance it. This study demonstrated the effects of personality traits, theories of intelligence, and other factors on achievement motive among community-dwelling elderly people. Methods: The dataset consisted of questionnaire responses from 281 elderly people in day-service or day-care centers. A hypothetical model, based on previous research, proposed that achievement motive would be affected by personality traits, theory of intelligence, and other factors (such as drinking and smoking habits, going out for activities, marital status, and hobbies); that personality traits would have some effect on the theory of intelligence and other factors; and that the theory of intelligence would affect personal factors. The hypothetical model was analyzed using a structural equation modeling approach. Results: The model was modified by removing statistically insignificant paths to achievement motive. The modified model exhibited an excellent fit and showed that achievement motive was affected by personality traits, going out for activities, and marital status (although, surprisingly, single people had stronger achievement motive). The model had an adjusted R2 of 0.593 (P < 0.001) for achievement motive. Conclusion: The results indicated that three of the Big Five personality traits (extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) tend to enhance elderly people’s motivation to achieve their goals; moreover, going out more frequently and being single were also associated with achievement motive.
Objective: Treatment of large advanced osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the elbow in young athletes is challenging. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the results in 9 baseball players (mean age, 13.7 years; range, 12–15 years) who were followed up for a mean 21.1 months (range, 12–36 months) after osteochondral autograft. In this operation, cylindrical osteochondral plugs were harvested from a lateral femoral condyle and transferred to the lesion in humeral capitellum. After immobilizing the elbow by a splint for 2 weeks, the patients were encouraged to do range of motion exercises using an elbow brace with a hinge for 2 months. The elbow brace was applied to avoid excess stress to the implants on the capitellum and to the lateral collateral ligament. Patients were clinically assessed by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association elbow score (JOA score) and morphologically by radiographs as well as by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Results: Patients started playing catch at 3 months and returned to baseball at competitive level at around 6 months postoperatively. The average JOA score was 68.0 points before operation and improved to 98.7 points at follow-up. Bony fusion between the implants and host bone was observed radiographically at 3 months. MRI confirmed a durable load-bearing articular surface of the capitellum at 1 year. Conclusions: Osteochondral autograft with postoperative rehabilitation using an elbow brace is a reasonable treatment for young athletes with an advanced lesion of OCD of the elbow who desire a relatively quick return to their pre-injury sports activity level.
Background: Reconstructive hand surgery is well established for the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis; however, with the advent of biologic drugs and methotrexate, disease activity, including the development of hand deformities, is well controlled. Nonetheless, many patients still need personalized surgery. Case: A 61-year-old woman with a 35-year history of rheumatoid arthritis presented with right hand deformity with unstable ulnar deviation of the metacarpophalangeal joints from the index to the little finger and hyperextension of the thumb interphalangeal joint. Her hobby was playing the erhu (a traditional two-stringed bowed Chinese instrument) and she wanted to improve her ability to hold the bow. To play the erhu, the tip of the thumb must touch the index finger to make a circle, and the other fingers must keep the bow horizontal and adjust the tension of the bow hair. We carried out thumb interphalangeal joint arthrodesis, little finger metacarpophalangeal joint arthrodesis, and transfer of the fourth dorsal interosseous muscle to the little finger. After 2 months of rehabilitation, the patient could hold the bow between the thumb and index fingers and adjust the string tension with the middle and ring fingers. Additionally, she could use chopsticks and pens more naturally. Discussion: Each patient with hand deformity resulting from burnt-out rheumatoid arthritis has a variety of demands for restoring hand function, depending on their personal needs. Individual treatment plans must be established through discussions among the patient, hand therapist, and surgeon based on the status of the hand and the patient’s needs.