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Functional Neurological Disorders: Evidence and Applications in Treatment

presented by Julie Hershberg, PT, DPT, NCS and Mike Studer, PT, DPT, MHS, NCS, CEEAA, CWT, CSST, CFPS, CSRP, FAPTA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Mike Studer receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.
Financial: Julie Hershberg receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Mike Studer has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.
Nonfinancial: Julie Hershberg has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 75 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 41 Minutes

This course will help clinicians organize their evidence-based approach to persons with functional neurological disorders. Clinicians will be empowered to engage in an evidence-based manner through patient education, goal setting, trigger management, motor relearning, and following a comprehensive plan of care to discharge.

Meet Your Instructors

Julie Hershberg, PT, DPT, NCS

Julie Hershberg is a passionate neurologic physical therapist, educator, mentor, learner, and forever neuro nerd. She owns and practices at [Re+Active] Physical Therapy & Wellness, a state-of-the-art outpatient neurologic physical therapy and wellness practice in Los Angeles. It is there she has the privilege to lead a team of PTs, OTs, yoga therapists, and personal…

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Mike Studer, PT, DPT, MHS, NCS, CEEAA, CWT, CSST, CFPS, CSRP, FAPTA

Dr. Mike Studer has been a PT since 1991. He has been board certified in neurologic PT since 1995 and has been a private practice owner since 2005. Dr. Studer has been an invited speaker covering 50 states, 10 countries, and 4 continents, speaking on topics such as cognition and psychology in rehabilitation, aging, stroke,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Frameworks for Building and Conducting an Evidence-Based Treatment Plan

In this chapter, we provide a summary of the limited but growing amount of literature for therapy and interdisciplinary treatment. We then take that evidence and put it into a pie chart to help drive successful treatment.

2. Managing the Treatment Course, Expectations, and Outcomes

In this chapter, we discuss setting up the treatment plan and frequency. We discuss both traditional models of outpatient therapy and more intensive and interdisciplinary models. Finally, we will discuss how we meet with the person on a journey of recovery.

3. Nuances in FND Management

In this chapter, attendees will be introduced to the all-powerful OPTIMAL theory of motor learning and specific applications in the FNDs. Autonomy, enhanced expectancies, and external focus are the three primary principles that help us to guide persons with FND toward recovery and keep them from regressing. Additionally, we see how exposure therapy—neuroplasticity through habituation—is a novel application for persons with FND.

4. Using Objective Measures as an Intervention

In this chapter, we will build on what was presented in Course 1 of this series regarding the use of objective measures; however, it will now be developed further with the OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. We will witness the power of expecting improvements (enhanced expectancies) and the critically important process of turning attention away from a movement disorder or symptom (external focus), both coming from the OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. Additionally, we will demonstrate the power of allowing an objective measure to provide reliable feedback to patients so that a therapist's opinion is neither biased nor discounted.

5. Home Exercise Programming and Reducing Visit Frequency

In this chapter, we focus on the ever important aspect of what happens outside of therapy and how to prepare a person for discharge. We will discuss tapering visits over the course of treatment and the types of activities that are effective at home.

6. Summary and Discharge Planning

In this chapter, we discuss how the discharge plan starts at the beginning of the plan. We discuss helping the patient take the next steps toward independence by reinforcing their autonomy and self-management.

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