One of the members of our local group pointed out that a recent article about Kerry Simon mentioned the “intense mental and physical exercise” he receives at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas. I found this webpage that describes some of the options, in general terms, for that exercise:
There’s a tab for “Physical & Occupational Therapy” and a tab for “Cognitive Rehabilitation.” On the PT/OT tab, it mentions: “Computerized brain training provides fun and engaging brain exercises that can help improve memory, focus and concentration.” Perhaps this is something like Luminosity. And on the cognitive tab, it mentions: “Another component of the program is aerobic exercise training with an emphasis on walking programs.” So obviously there’s a lot of overlap between the physical and mental exercises.
I mentioned to local support group member Lily Shih our interest in wanting to know more about the “intense mental and physical exercise” that Kerry Simon receives. She forwarded me this article in today’s Las Vegas Sun newspaper. It describes Kerry using a partial body weight-supported treadmill, Kerry playing mahjong while walking or riding an exercise bike, and the physical therapist stretching out Kerry’s limbs.
Here are two interesting excerpts from the article:
Simon says he feels fine mentally, but it is difficult for him to speak fluidly. On the day of this therapy session, he has been asked to record public service announcements to raise money for MSA treatment and awareness. He muscled his way through those segments and is aware that he has unwittingly become a powerful spokesman for the fight against MSA. “I don’t really feel comfortable with talking so much, but what I do feel comfortable with is bringing attention to MSA and finding a cure for MSA,” he says. “And it’s not just MSA, but all brain diseases in general, because they are all similar. If you look up anything about them, you’ll see there are similarities between all of them.”
Nash [the physical therapist] has worked countless hours with Simon. The two are well aware of the grip MSA has on a patient. “He knows the long-term prognosis, and we are working primarily on controlling the symptoms and minimizing the falls,” says Nash… “We’ve gone from walking without any device to walking regularly with a cane to several different types of walkers until he was fitted for a power wheelchair. … Basically, we are trying to maximize his independence. … All of the patients I work with have a progressive disease. So you are working for one day, one moment, of strength and hope.”
See the full article here:
Kerry Simon’s intensive rehab program is the walk of his life
By John Katsilometes
Las Vegas Sun
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 | 2 a.m.