Dr. Karsten has more than five years of clinical experience across diverse healthcare settings and currently works full-time on an acute inpatient neurorehabilitation unit, evaluating and treating adults with acquired brain injury and other neurological & complex orthopedic conditions. She also serves as a mentor to other staff members and acts as a supporting faculty member of the Neurologic Residency Program in acute inpatient rehabilitation at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. Dr. Karsten has presented posters at American Physical Therapy Association meetings and also at the 5th International Gait and Balance Symposium in Multiple Sclerosis. Her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is from Hunter College and she has achieved Board Certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy.
Part 1 covers various topics, including: an average day’s caseload size of patients who are being treated for an acquired brain injury or ABI; creation of a tool called the Preparedness for Caregiving Scale; kinds of skills being developed by caregivers; members of the rehabilitation team participating in caregiver training; Care Partner Carryover Day activities; and program limitations.
Dr. Jonas Sokolof graduated from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his PM&R residency at Harvard Medical School and his fellowship at the Kessler Institute. He joined NYU Langone Health and the Rusk Rehabilitation Institute in 2018 where he has served as director of oncological rehabilitation. His research interests include the role of lifestyle intervention in the rehabilitation of cancer patients.
Dr. Sokolof noted in Part 2 of his presentation that many patients may be reluctant to take medications. They don’t want injections and the last thing they look forward to is taking another drug or having something else done to them. Trismus is condition we often see in this population, developing from radiation. We tend to see it more as actual fibrosis of the muscles of mastication. Neuropathy also is quite common in this population. We often see it from the radiation itself. Post-radiation functional status and quality of life have a strong correlation with overall long-term survival in the head and neck cancer population. As physiatrists, not only do we have a role to play in restoring functioning, we are involved in altering the disease course itself. The fibrosis syndrome stemming from radiation is problematic and progressive. There is nothing out there so far that can cure it. An exciting emerging treatment in a study he is involved in at NYU is looking at photo biomodulation therapy or low-level laser light therapy. It is a technology used a lot in sports medicine to treat musculoskeletal pain and sports-related injuries. It basically is light therapy rather than heat therapy and works at the level of the mitochondria. The primary objective is to determine if this is a feasible treatment for head and neck cancer patients. He concluded by indicating that the earlier we can become involved in the whole cancer continuum as physiatrists the better, especially in radiation fibrosis. A question-and-answer question followed his presentation.