In November of 2018 Laura Lurshen gave an hour long presentation on CADASIL at Herkimer College in upstate New York.  Laura shared her personal story, including her diagnosis of CADASIL.  

The audience consisted of approximately 25-30 students and professors from Herkimer College Physical Therapy Assistant department.  This class was studying Orthotics and Neurology, so a presentation on CADASIL was relevant to their learning.

Laura distributed literature on CADASIL and shared an article on CADASIL published in Rare Neurological Review Special Report 2018.  In a PowerPoint presentation Laura discussed her personal opinions of inpatient and outpatient therapies. The attendees knew the acronym FAST (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call emergency services) for stroke awareness. Expanding on this knowledge Laura further explained the difference of TIAs, migraines with auras and CADASIL.  Laura also shared the common misdiagnosis of CADASIL as Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological diseases.

Laura’s  current physical therapist participated in the presentation to demonstrate how she works with Laura when doing therapy.  Since her complete left side has hemiparesis (muscle weakness, partial paralysis) special care must be given. Laura also showed students the different types of assistive devices she has used over the last 5 years living with hemiparesis of her left side.

Many thanks to Laura, for organizing the opportunity, reaching out to cureCADASIL for materials, and to Herkimer College for making this educational and awareness event for CADASIL possible.  It is through sharing CADASIL patient stories and experiences at events like this and online that the patient community is able to make others aware of this rare disease. – February 2019