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1.  Does chronic subthalamic nucleus stimulation in advanced Parkinson's disease cause invalidating cognitive and behavioural dysfunctions? 
Cognitive and behavioural dysfunctions in patients with Parkinson's disease
PMCID: PMC2117650  PMID: 17308286
2.  How to Tackle Tremor – Systematic Review of the Literature and Diagnostic Work-Up 
Background: Tremor is the most prevalent movement disorder in clinical practice. It is defined as involuntary, rhythmic, oscillatory movements. The diagnostic process of patients with tremor can be laborious and challenging, and a clear, systematic overview of available diagnostic techniques is lacking. Tremor can be a symptom of many diseases, but can also represent a distinct disease entity. Objective: The objective of this review is to give a clear, systematic and step-wise overview of the diagnostic work-up of a patient with tremor. The clinical relevance and value of available laboratory tests in patients with tremor will be explored. Methods: We systematically searched through EMBASE. The retrieved articles were supplemented by articles containing relevant data or provided important background information. Studies that were included investigated the value and/or usability of diagnostic tests for tremor. Results: In most patients, history and clinical examination by an experienced movement disorders neurologist are sufficient to establish a correct diagnosis, and further ancillary examinations will not be needed. Ancillary investigation should always be guided by tremor type(s) present and other associated signs and symptoms. The main ancillary examination techniques currently are electromyography and SPECT imaging. Unfortunately, many techniques have not been studied in large prospective, diagnostic studies to be able to determine important variables like sensitivity and specificity. Conclusion: When encountering a patient with tremor, history, and careful clinical examination should guide the diagnostic process. Adherence to the diagnostic work-up provided in this review will help the diagnostic process of these patients.
PMCID: PMC3478569  PMID: 23109928
tremor; essential tremor; diagnosis; electromyography; differential diagnosis; action tremor
3.  Deep Brain Stimulation of the Pallidum is Effective and Might Stabilize Striatal D2 Receptor Binding in Myoclonus–Dystonia 
Purpose: To assess clinical efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the pallidum in Myoclonus–Dystonia (M–D) patients, and to compare pre- and post-operative striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability. Methods: Clinical parameters were scored using validated rating scales for myoclonus and dystonia. Dopamine D2 receptor binding of three patients was studied before surgery and approximately 2 years post-operatively using 123-I-iodobenzamide Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography. Two patients who did not undergo surgery served as controls. Results: Clinically, the three M–D patients improved 83, 17, and 100%, respectively on the myoclonus rating scale and 78, 23, and 65% on the dystonia rating scale after DBS. Dopamine D2 receptor binding did not change after surgery. In the two control subjects, binding has lowered further. Conclusion: These findings confirm that DBS of the pallidum has beneficial effects on motor symptoms in M–D and suggest this procedure might stabilize dopamine D2 receptor binding.
PMCID: PMC3282300  PMID: 22363319
myoclonus; dystonia; IBZM-SPECT; DBS
4.  Pathological gambling after bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinson disease 
We describe a patient with advanced Parkinson's disease who developed pathological gambling within a month after successful bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation. There was no history of gambling. On neuropsychological testing, slight cognitive decline was evident 1 year after surgery. Stimulation of the most dorsal contact with and without medication induced worse performances on decision making tests compared with the more ventral contact. Pathological gambling disappeared after discontinuation of pergolide and changing the stimulation parameters. Pathological gambling does not seem to be associated with decision making but appears to be related to a combination of bilateral STN stimulation and treatment with dopamine agonists.
PMCID: PMC2117849  PMID: 17210626
5.  Botulinum toxin for writer's cramp: a randomised, placebo‐controlled trial and 1‐year follow‐up 
Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT‐A) has become the treatment of choice for most types of focal dystonia.
To investigate the efficacy of BoNT‐A injections in patients with writer's cramp in a double‐blind, randomised, placebo‐controlled trial and to evaluate the follow‐up results.
Forty participants were randomised to treatment with either BoNT‐A or placebo injections in two sessions. Trial duration was 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the patients' choice to continue with the treatment, despite its possible disadvantages. Secondary outcome measures included several clinical rating scales on the levels of impairment and disability. Assessments were made at baseline and 2 months (secondary outcomes) and 3 months (primary outcome). Duration of follow‐up was 1 year.
39 patients completed the trial. Fourteen of 20 patients (70%) receiving BoNT‐A reported a beneficial effect and chose to continue treatment, versus 6 of 19 patients (31.6%) in the placebo group (p = 0.03). The changes on most of the clinical rating scales were significantly in favour of BoNT‐A. Side effects reported were hand weakness, which was mostly mild and always transient, and pain at the injection site. After 1 year, 20 of 39 patients were still under treatment with a positive effect.
Treatment with BoNT‐A injections led to a significantly greater improvement compared with placebo, according to patients' opinion and clinical assessment scales. Weakness in the hand is an important side effect of BoNT‐A injections, but despite this disadvantage, most patients preferred to continue treatment. About 50% of our patients were still under treatment after 1 year.
PMCID: PMC2117645  PMID: 17185301
6.  [123I]FP-CIT SPECT shows a pronounced decline of striatal dopamine transporter labelling in early and advanced Parkinson's disease. 
OBJECTIVES: The main neuropathological feature in Parkinson's disease is a severe degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra resulting in a loss of dopamine (DA) transporters in the striatum. [123I]beta-CIT single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies have demonstrated this loss of striatal DA transporter content in Parkinson's disease in vivo. However, studies with this radioligand also showed that an adequate imaging of the striatal DA transporter content could only be performed on the day after the injection of radioligand, which is not convenient for outpatient evaluations. Recently, a new radioligand [123I]FP-CIT, with faster kinetics than beta-CIT, became available for imaging of the DA transporter with SPECT, and the applicability of this ligand was tested in patients with early and advanced Parkinson's disease, using a one day protocol. METHODS: [123I]FP-CIT SPECT was performed in six patients with early and 12 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease, and in six age matched healthy volunteers. RESULTS: Compared with an age matched control group striatal [123I]FP-CIT uptake in patients with Parkinson's disease was decreased, and this result was measurable three hours after injection of the radioligand. In the Parkinson's disease group the uptake in the putamen was reduced more than in the caudate nucleus. The contralateral striatal uptake of [123I]FP-CIT was significantly lower than the ipsilateral striatal uptake in the Parkinson's disease group. Specific to non-specific striatal uptake ratios correlated with the Hoehn and Yahr stage. A subgroup of patients with early Parkinson's disease also showed significantly lower uptake in the putamen and lower putamen:caudate ratios than controls. CONCLUSION: [123I]FP-CIT SPECT allows a significant discrimination between patients with Parkinson's disease and age matched controls with a one day protocol, which will be to great advantage in outpatient evaluations.
PMCID: PMC486723  PMID: 9048712
7.  Quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease: development of a questionnaire. 
OBJECTIVES--To develop and test a questionnaire for measuring quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease. METHODS--An item pool was developed based on the experience of patients with Parkinson's disease and of neurologists; medical literature on the problems of patients with Parkinson's disease; and other quality of life questionnaires. To reduce the item pool, 13 patients identified items that were a problem to them and rated their importance. Items which were most often chosen and rated most important were included in the Parkinson's disease quality of life questionnaire (PDQL). The PDQL consists of 37 items. To evaluate the discriminant validity of the PDQL three groups of severity of disease were compared. To test for convergent validity, the scores of the PDQL were tested for correlation with standard indices of quality of life. RESULTS--The PDQL was filled out by 384 patients with Parkinson's disease. It consisted of four subscales: parkinsonian symptoms, systemic symptoms, emotional functioning, and social functioning. The internal-consistency reliability coefficients of the PDQL subscales were high (0.80-0.87). Patients with higher disease severity had significantly lower quality of life on all PDQL subscales (P < 0.05). Almost all PDQL subscales correlated highly (P < 0.001) with the corresponding scales of the standard quality of life indices. CONCLUSION--The PDQL is a relevant, reliable, and valid measure of the quality of life of patients with Parkinson's disease.
PMCID: PMC486462  PMID: 8676165
8.  Pretarsal application of botulinum toxin for treatment of blepharospasm. 
The response to botulinum toxin type A was compared after two injection techniques in 45 patients with blepharospasm. Initially, patients were treated according to a triple injection technique; two injections into the upper eyelid and one injection into the lower eyelid. Subsequently, without altering the dose, the same patient group received two further injections into the pretarsal portion of the orbicularis oculi muscle of the upper lid. Triple injections were given in 227 treatments, of which 81% were successful. Mean duration of benefit was 8.5 weeks. Additional pretarsal injections were given in 183 treatment sessions. The number of successful treatments significantly increased, to 95% (P < 0.001), and the mean duration of benefit increased to 12.5 weeks (P < 0.001). Ptosis occurred significantly less often after pretarsal injections (P < 0.01). Patients with combined blepharospasm and involuntary levator palpebrae inhibition responded better to the pretarsal injection technique.
PMCID: PMC486037  PMID: 7673963
9.  Electromyography and recovery of the blink reflex in involuntary eyelid closure: a comparative study. 
Electromyographic (EMG) activity of orbicularis oculi and levator palpebrae muscles was recorded to study the origin of involuntary eyelid closure in 33 patients. The evoked blink reflex in all patients and in 23 controls was also studied. To examine the excitability of facial motoneurons and bulbar interneurons in individual patients and to compare the results with EMG findings, R1 and R2 recovery indices were calculated in all subjects, as the average of recovery values at 0.5, 0.3, and 0.21 second interstimulus intervals. Based on EMG patterns, the patients were divided into three subclasses: EMG subclass 1, 10 patients with involuntary discharges solely in orbicularis oculi muscle; EMG subclass 2, 20 patients with involuntary discharges in orbicularis oculi and either involuntary levator palpebrae inhibition or a disturbed reciprocal innervation between orbicularis oculi and levator palpebrae; EMG subclass 3, three patients who did not have blepharospasm, but had involuntary levator palpebrae inhibition in association with a basal ganglia disease. The total patient group showed an enhanced recovery of both R1 and R2 components compared with controls. Although 30 out of 33 patients had blepharospasm (EMG subclasses 1 and 2), R1 recovery index was normal in 64% and R2 recovery index was normal in 54%. Patients with an abnormal R2 recovery index had an abnormal R1 recovery index significantly more often. All patients from EMG subclass 1 had an abnormal R2 recovery index, whereas all patients from EMG subclass 3 had normal recovery indices for both R1 and R2 responses. Seventy five per cent of the patients from EMG subclass 2 had normal recovery indices. The results provide further evidence that physiologically blepharospasm is not a homogeneous disease entity, and indicate that different pathophysiological mechanisms at the suprasegmental, or segmental level, or both are involved.
PMCID: PMC1073546  PMID: 7608667
10.  Acute dysautonomia associated with Hodgkin's disease. 
A patient is described with acute dysautonomia associated with Hodgkin's disease. Testing of cardiovascular reflex control showed that this patient had a rare manifestation of autonomic cardiovascular neuropathy, namely intact parasympathetic heart rate control in combination with a sympathetic postganglionic lesion affecting the control of the vascular tree.
PMCID: PMC1028911  PMID: 3746314
11.  Stereotactic thalamotomy for the relief of intention tremor of multiple sclerosis. 
The results of a stereotactic thalamotomy in 11 patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis and severe intention tremor are discussed. The operation produces a beneficial effect on the tremor and an improvement of arm function in most patients. The good results have often been counterbalanced by postoperative complications or progression of the disease. An operation may be considered, if the tremor lasts for at least a year, and if there is no serious cerebral atrophy or other relevant damage to CNS structures. The patient must be capable of giving informed consent.
PMCID: PMC1027857  PMID: 6376713

Results 1-11 (11)