ASSBI Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment
Working together to improve the lives of people with brain impairment
41st ASSBI Brain Impairment Conference 2018 ADELAIDE
Professor Iona Novak  “Stem Cell Interventions Hype or Hope” 1 in 3 people may benefit from regenerative medicine in their lifetime - and stem cells are unquestionably the new frontier. With numerous stories in the public domain of “cures” (hype) but also of tragic circumstances where hopeful patients (including children) have lost their lives after buying stem cell interventions overseas - how do we separate the hype from hope? Key Practice Points  At the end of the session, participants will have the following learning outcomes: 1. Acquired a general knowledge of stem cells; 2. Obtained a pragmatic and non-judgemental questioning method that they can use within clinical practice to help patients objectively appraise stem cell tourism marketing; 3. Acquired an understanding of the scientific rationale and state of the science for stem cell intervention as promising empirical treatment option for children and adults with neurological conditions; 4. Obtained an understanding of the potential future clinical role that health professionals might play within stem cell intervention for children and adults with neurological conditions.  
Professor McKay Moore Sohlberg   “Beyond Cognitive Rest: Treating Patients with Persistent Cognitive and Somatic Symptoms Following Concussion” The numbers of people suffering persistent cognitive and somatic symptoms following mild traumatic brain injury, also called concussion, are large. This webinar distills results from current intervention research and treatment guidelines to provide participants with an implementation framework for addressing cognitive and co- morbid conditions resulting from mild traumatic brain injury. The webinar will include specific therapy protocols for effectively addressing the chronic symptoms of concussion.
Professor Jennifer Fleming  - 8th August 2017 “Evidence-based management of impaired self-awareness following brain injury” Impaired self-awareness is relatively common following severe traumatic brain injury, and poses a major obstacle to engagement in rehabilitation and recovery. This webinar will overview methods of conceptualising awareness with this population and describe methods of assessment of self-awareness for use in clinical practice. Different approaches to facilitating the development of self-awareness in rehabilitation will be discussed including the use of feedback, education, metacognitive skills training, and occupation-based approaches, along with recent research evidence to support interventions. The implications of developing self-awareness for emotional adjustment and psychosocial outcomes will also be discussed.  
Professor Vicki Anderson  - 10th October 2017 “Digital health and e-health technology for ill and injured children and their families: What’s the evidence?” Working with children and families with serious illness and injury is complex. Even when high quality post-injury care is available, families often find it difficult to take full advantage due to geographical factors, family responsibilities, social disadvantage and psychological trauma associated with return to tertiary centres.  As a result, evidence regarding child outcomes and impact of post-injury interventions is limited by inclusion bias towards socially advantaged, well functioning families living close to city centres.  In fact, it could be argued that our interventions are not reaching the children and families most in need. The explosion of digital health and e-health technology provides an exciting and innovative opportunity to extend the reach of our post-injury assessment and intervention.  These approaches facilitate engagement of mothers and fathers as well as their injured child or adolescent.  To date, despite the face validity of available technology, the evidence base for these approaches is not always robust, and robust validation is critical.  Several e-health interventions will be introduced, in the context of relevant theoretical frameworks, and focussing primarily on child and family psychosocial outcomes. Early findings from research using these methods will be described, along with learnings for moving to e-health model.                                                                                                 
Dr Michael Perdices - 12th December 2017 “Rare and Unusual Syndromes ” Neuropsychologists are familiar with many conditions (e.g., traumatic brain injury; stroke; dementia) that have well known cognitive sequelae. Sometimes, however, we need to assess patients with unusual diagnoses that we have not met before. Occasionally we might be asked to assess patients with conditions that are unfamiliar and which are generally regarded not to have neuropsychological consequences. This webinar presents two patients with such unusual syndromes: the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome and Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome and discusses strategies that might be useful when assessing patients with rare and unusual syndromes.
ASSBI is proud to announce its 2017 Webinar Series 5 one-hour webinars will be run in April, June, August, October and December 2017 You can register for one, more than one or all 5 REGISTER NOW 
The webinars are available LIVE on the day and also ON DEMAND for 3 months What do you do if you have registered for one and now want to register for another? Click here!
Ms Sue Sloan “Managing challenging behaviours in community settings” Challenging behaviours are common sequelae of severe brain injury and adversely impact on long term outcomes, particularly reintegration into meaningful life roles. Despite this, there are few practical resources available to assist the clinician to manage such behaviours and their impact. This webinar provides an introduction to key principles that guide development of a positive behaviour support plan. Principles include interdisciplinary teamwork, adopting a proactive approach and the planned use of natural and logical consequences. The importance of embedding the behaviour plan within a program of everyday activity aimed at building skills to maximise life role participation will be emphasised. The clinical application of this approach will be illustrated with a case study.
Professor Eli Vakil “Long-term Outcome Following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Three- factor Cognitive Reserve Structure” Although numerous studies have employed various measures thought to reflect the Cognitive Reserve (CR) concept, empirical evidence for its construct validity is lacking. The first aim of this study was to identify key variables that constitute this construct in the context of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The second was to evaluate the contribution of pre-morbid variables to long-term functioning following TBI. Eighty-nine participants with moderate-to-severe TBI were evaluated. We found a three-factor CR structure, consisting of pre-morbid intellectual functioning, leisure activity, and socioeconomic status. The predictive value of these factors for long-term outcome following TBI was evaluated. The results showed that TBI severity predicted cognitive, social, and daily functioning outcomes. Among the CR factors, pre-injury intellectual functioning predicted cognitive, occupational, social, emotional and daily functioning. Pre-injury leisure activity predicted cognitive, emotional and daily functioning, while socioeconomic status failed to predict any of these variables. Findings suggest that CR construct explains significant variance in TBI outcome, over and above the variance explained by injury severity.
Professor Beth Armstrong “Aboriginal Australians' experiences of brain injury and ways to move forward in providing culturally secure rehabilitation services” Stroke and traumatic brain injury occur more than twice as frequently in Aboriginal as in non-Aboriginal populations yet representation of Aboriginal people within rehabilitation services is low and long term outcomes for survivors are largely unknown. This webinar will provide an overview of the issues involved for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples in accessing rehabilitation services and health providers in providing culturally secure, accessable services. The notion of cultural security will be unpacked, with ideas presented for improving service delivery models, and accessing and utilising culturally appropriate resources for assessment and treatment. These discussions will be informed by an overview of research in the area and the latest results from the Missing Voices project - the first comprehensive study in Australia addressing the extent and impact of stroke and TBI in Aboriginal communities.
Dr Valentina Lorenzetti “Addiction and the brain: what do we know?” Approximately 246 million people used an illicit drug yearly. Worryingly, one out of 10 drug users will end up developing problem substance use. This significant minority constitutes 27 million individuals who experience devastating consequences from substance use disorders and dependence. While there are substance-specific alterations of personality, cognitive and neural characteristics; there is emerging evidence for common alterations across addiction disorders regardless of the substance of choice. Who are the most vulnerable to develop addiction? History of trauma, genetic vulnerabilities, family history of use, personality traits, and other key factors emerge to predate the onset of addiction disorders. What goes wrong in the transition from recreational drug use to dependence? Neuroscientific models of addiction, supported by evidence from preclinical evidence and human neuroimaging studies, postulate that specific neuroadaptations drive this transition. This webinar will cover topics such as the epidemiology and the burden of the disease of addiction disorders, contemporary theories of addiction, neuroscientific evidence on cognitive, personality and neural alterations that predate and follow the onset of addiction disorders, and genetic factors that may confer vulnerability to develop addictive disorder.
A/Professor Grahame Simpson “Suicide prevention in acquired brain injury ” The webinar covers the latest research into the prevalence and risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviours after traumatic brain injury. Approaches to screening and suicide risk assessment will be outlined. The Window to Hope program, which has now been successfully tested in two RCTs, will also be described, along with a range of other clinical management strategies.
Professor Olivier Piquet “Neuroimaging in the dementias: what’s the catch?” Brain neuroimaging now forms an integral component in the diagnosis of dementia. This presentation will review recent advances in structural and functional neuroimaging and their applications to dementia diagnosis. Relevance, advantages and limitation of these procedures will be discussed.
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ASSBI Webinars from 2016
The undernoted webinars are available on a memory stick at a cost of $100 for non-members and $75 for ASSBI members (inc GST) To order one or more of these webinars email Margaret with the name/s of the webinar/s you wish to receive, you will then receive an invoice and the webinar/s will be posted out on receipt of a purchase order or payment
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