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Pharmacology for the Neurologic Physical Therapist

presented by Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Melissa Bednarek receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Melissa Bednarek has no competing non-financial 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.

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Medications are a part of the treatment plan for many neurologic symptoms and disorders. A solid understanding of the indications, mechanism of action, and common side effects of these medications is thus relevant for the physical therapist. Based on an understanding of neurotransmitters and disease pathology, this course will review medications used for the most common neurologic symptoms and diagnoses.

Meet Your Instructor

Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, CCS

Dr. Melissa Bednarek received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and psychology from St. Bonaventure University, followed by a Master of Physical Therapy from MCP Hahnemann University. Following four years of acute care experience, she returned to graduate school to complete a PhD in physiology from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2009,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction

This chapter will define pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and highlight the relevance to nervous system pharmacology. The physiology of the neurotransmitters relevant to neurologic symptoms and disorders will also be reviewed.

2. Pharmacology for Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

Pharmacologic treatment is used in the management of chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In this chapter, we will review the pathophysiologic basis of PD and AD as well as the most common classes of medications used to treat these disorders.

3. Pharmacology for Anxiety and Depression

Mental health disorders frequently involve the use of medications to stabilize the altered levels of neurotransmitters. As a patient comorbidity or primary diagnosis, an understanding of pharmacologic treatment for anxiety and depression is important for the physical therapist.

4. Pharmacology for Seizure Disorder

There are different types of seizures for which different types of medications are recommended. This chapter will review the most common classes of pharmacologic agents used in the treatment of seizure disorder.

5. Pharmacology for Spasticity

Spasticity is a symptom in many different neurologic disorders. The different types of antispasticity medications will be reviewed in this chapter.

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