Podcast Review: April 2009 4th Edition – A Look at Vascular Dementia

I thought i’d try something slightly different today.

Audio podcasts are a useful way of keeping up to date or learning about a subject. However a potentially richer source of material is that of video, obviously because there are also visual cues. Interviews become that much more interesting when you see the person talking as well as hearing them. The internet is filled with video material and one of the most popular sites for videos is YouTube. As you might expect from a site now owned by Google, the videos are searchable, making use of the tag indexing and allowing the viewer to use boolean operators to identify relevant clips. The main difficulty is that it is difficult to guarantee the quality of the material, and the quality assessment has to be done on the fly. Quality assessment is always needed anyway. For instance, articles in respected peer reviewed journals may have shortcomings and the findings overturned a few years later.

So I wanted to see what video material there was on vascular dementia. So first of all I visited the YouTube site and simply typed in ‘Vascular Dementia’ in the search box. This produced ‘about 31’ results. One of the first results was from MedPageToday and is an interview about a trial that took place looking at the use of Donepezil in vascular dementia. The interview is with a Dr Gorelick who describes the main results of the trial with no significant benefit although there was an improvement in one of the subscales. The interview was brief but focuses on the most relevant aspects of the study and seems to be aimed at an audience with a medical background.

Moving further down the search results, there was this clip which is from the University of California Television Channel and features a 29-minute video presented by Dr Dee Silver, neurologist who talks about the treatment of a number of neurodegenerative conditions. The presentation is very good, with Silver explaining the different types of dementia. However although it appears in the search for vascular dementia, this isn’t really the main focus for the program. This program seems to be an introduction to the subject of dementia.

This video looks at ‘recovering cognition after stroke’ and is the 4th in a series. This is another useful feature of YouTube, because by looking on the right hand side of the browser window a list of related videos is given which includes the first in the series. So by simply clicking on this we are taken to the first in the series. Although both videos appear to represent an introduction to the field, the fourth in the series while brief does contain some interesting suggestions from the presenter including obtaining SALT input in cases of vascular dementia.

Further down the search results there is also a clip of an elderly lady with dementia playing cards in a nursing home but most of the other videos here are both short in duration and cover dementia more generally.

Perhaps the search should be refined…

As expected, by combining ‘Vascular Dementia’ with ‘treatment’ a smaller number of results were elicited and all seemed to have been covered in the original search. While there are a large number of videos on YouTube, the ‘specialist’ videos are relatively few in number. Maybe I was missing something in my search. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be an advanced search feature, so I needed to modify the search terms. I broadened out the search by using the term dementia which resulted in ‘about 131’ videos. Scanning through the video titles and descriptions didn’t take too long. The focus seemed to be on Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia.

Switching to CADASIL a more obscure cause of vascular dementia identified this video which gives a very good overview of this rare condition. A search for stroke produced many thousands of videos but this was because the term was used in other phrases e.g. in swimming.

In conclusion, on the basis of the above, a basic search of YouTube for medical information on vascular dementia wasn’t an efficient way of obtaining more advanced knowledge in this area. For introductory material however there were was more material for dementia in general and for certain subtypes such as Alzheimer’s Diseaes and Lewy Body Dementia.

Responses

If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

6 comments

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  2. I agree with the above post. Personally I cannot understand why you would not want to make an effort in this regard anyway. Only the other day, at work we had exactly the same conversation and came to a similar closing

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