Temporal lobe epilepsy with (TLE-mts) and without (TLE-no) mesial temporal sclerosis display different patterns of cortical neuronal loss, suggesting that the distribution of white matter damage may also differ between the sub-groups. The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of white matter damage in TLE-mts and TLE-no and to determine if identified changes are related to neuronal loss at the presumed seizure focus. The 4 T diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and T1-weighted data were acquired for 22 TLE-mts, 21 TLE-no and 31 healthy controls. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to compare fractional anisotropy (FA) maps and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to identify grey matter (GM) volume atrophy. Correlation analysis was conducted between the FA maps and neuronal loss at the presumed seizure focus. In TLE-mts, reduced FA was identified in the genu, body and splenium of the corpus callosum, bilateral corona radiata, cingulum, external capsule, ipsilateral internal capsule and uncinate fasciculus. In TLE-no, FA decreases were identified in the genu, the body of the corpus callosum and ipsilateral anterior corona radiata. The FA positively correlated with ipsilateral hippocampal volume. Widespread extra-focal GM atrophy was associated with both sub-groups. Despite widespread and extensive GM atrophy displaying different anatomical patterns in both sub-groups, TLE-mts demonstrated more extensive FA abnormalities than TLE-no. The microstructural organization in the corpus callosum was related to hippocampal volume in both patients and healthy subjects demonstrating the association of these distal regions.
Temporal lobe epilepsy; FA; DTI; TBSS; VBM; DARTEL
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a rare, disabling condition caused by gain-of-function mutations of a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptor, leads to episodes of heterotopic ossification and resultant immobility. Neurological problems have not been associated with FOP, but neurological symptoms are commonly reported by FOP patients. To determine the prevalence of neurological symptoms and their characteristics in individuals with FOP, we conducted a survey of the 470 patient members of the International FOP Association (IFOPA) using a questionnaire about neurological symptoms. There were 168 responses (105 females, 63 males; age 1.5–68 years) from 30 countries representing 36 % of IFOPA members. Chronic neurological symptoms were reported by 86 (51 %). Prevalence of neuropathic pain (NP) was significantly increased (P < 0.001) compared to the general population, and tenfold more common in females (15 %) than males (1.6 %). Of those with NP, 94 % reported other sensory abnormalities. Prevalence of recurrent severe headaches (HA) (26 %) was similar to that in the general population, but prevalence in females with FOP (36 %) was almost fourfold greater than in males. Prevalence of NP, HA, and other sensory abnormalities was substantially higher in post-pubertal females; 33 % reported symptoms worsened during menstrual periods. Worsening of neurological symptoms during FOP flare-ups was reported by 23 %. Three patients with FOP (1.8 %) reported myoclonus, a prevalence much greater than reported in the general population (P < 0.001). Our worldwide survey indicates that neurological symptoms are common in FOP. We speculate that these symptoms are related to effects of dysregulated BMP signaling on the central and/or peripheral nervous systems.
ACVR1; Bone morphogenetic protein 4; Substance P
Parkinson’s disease; UCHL1; NAT2; interaction; association study
Patients with myotonic dystrophy (DM) have recently been reported to be at increased risk of tumor development, but clinical associations related to this observation are unknown. We calculated the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of self-reported tumor development by patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics to evaluate factors associated with tumor development in DM patients, using data from the National Registry of Myotonic Dystrophy and Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy Patients and Family Members. Of the 911 participants, 47.5% were male and 85.7% had DM type 1 (DM1). Compared with DM1, patients with DM type 2 (DM2) were older at Registry enrollment (median age =55 vs. 44 years, p<0.0001) and at DM diagnosis (median age= 48 vs. 30 years, p<0.0001); and more likely to be females (p=0.001). At enrollment, 95 (10.4%) DM patients reported a history of benign or malignant tumor. Tumors were associated with female gender (OR=1.9, 95% CI=1.2–3.1, p=0.007) and DM1 (OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.1–4.1, p=0.03). In a subgroup analysis of patients with blood-based DNA testing results (397 DM1, 54 DM2), repeat expansion size was not associated with tumor risk in DM1 (p=0.26) or DM2 (p=0.34). In conclusion, female gender and DM1 subtype, but not DNA repeat expansion size, were associated with increased risk of tumors in DM. Follow-up studies are warranted to determine if oncogenes associated with dystrophia myotonica-protein kinase (DMPK) are altered in DM, and to determine if repeat expansion size, as in our study, is not associated with tumor development.
Myotonic dystrophy; comorbidity; neoplasms; risk factors; repeat expansion size
Epilepsy; Seizure; Intracranial electrodes; Epilepsy surgery; Epileptogenic zone; Cortical localization
We evaluated the long-term efficacy of prednisolone (PSL) therapy for prolonging ambulation in Japanese patients with genetically confirmed Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). There were clinical trials have shown a short-term positive effect of high-dose and daily PSL on ambulation, whereas a few study showed a long-term effect. Especially in Japan, “real-life” observation was lacking. We utilized the national registry of muscular dystrophy in Japan for our retrospective study. We compared the age at loss of ambulation (LOA) between patients in PSL group and those in without-PSL group. Out of 791 patients’ in the Remudy DMD/BMD registry from July 2009 to June 2012, 560 were matched with inclusion criteria. Of the 560, all were genetically confirmed DMD patients, 245 (43.8 %) of whom were treated with PSL and 315 (56.2 %) without PSL. There was no difference between the two groups regarding their mutational profile. The age at LOA was significantly greater (11 month on average) in the PSL group than in the without-PSL group (median, 132 vs. 121 months; p = 0.0002). Although strictly controlled clinical trials have shown that corticosteroid therapies achieved a marked improvement in ambulation, discontinuation of the drug due to intolerable side effects led to exclusion of clinical trial participants, which is considered as unavoidable. In our study, patients were not excluded from the PSL group, even if they discontinued the medication shortly after starting it. The results of our study may provide evidence to formulate recommendations and provide a basis for realistic expectations for PSL treatment of DMD patients in Japan, even there are certain limitations due to the retrospectively captured data in the registry.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Prednisolone; Walking; National registry; Natural history
Although Fingolimod is registered as a second-line drug in relapsing-remittend multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in Europe there are no clinical studies available comparing Fingolimod (FTY) and Natalizumab (N). This observational cohort-study used health data routinely collected in outpatient neurology practices throughout Germany completing a treatment period of 12 months included 237 patients starting on N and 190 patients on FTY because of failure of the first-line treatment. Mean relapse rate drastically decreased in both treatment groups within three months of therapy in a similar degree and remained on a low level. Both treatment groups saw a similar proportion of patients with unchanged and improved EDSS (80.53 % in FTY, 79.32 % in N). There was no statistically significant difference between the proportion of patients being relapse free (75.79 % in FTY, 71.73 % in N), progression free (87.39 % in FTY, 82.70 % in N) or relapse and progression free (71.05 % in FTY, 62.03 % in N) at 12 months in both strata. Clinical efficacy of FTY and N in RRMS second-line-therapy was similar during the first 12 months of treatment.
RRMS; Fingolimod; Natalizumab; Efficacy
The hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSAN, also known as the hereditary sensory neuropathies) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders, characterised by a progressive sensory neuropathy often complicated by ulcers and amputations, with variable motor and autonomic involvement. To date, mutations in twelve genes have been identified as causing HSAN. To study the frequency of mutations in these genes and the associated phenotypes, we screened 140 index patients in our inherited neuropathy cohort with a clinical diagnosis of HSAN for mutations in the coding regions of SPTLC1, RAB7, WNK1/HSN2, FAM134B, NTRK1 (TRKA) and NGFB. We identified 25 index patients with mutations in six genes associated with HSAN (SPTLC1, RAB7, WNK1/HSN2, FAM134B, NTRK1 and NGFB); 20 of which appear to be pathogenic giving an overall mutation frequency of 14.3%. Mutations in the known genes for HSAN are rare suggesting that further HSAN genes are yet to be identified. The p.Cys133Trp mutation in SPTLC1 is the most common cause of HSAN in the UK population and should be screened first in all patients with sporadic or autosomal dominant HSAN.
Tafamidis, a transthyretin (TTR) kinetic stabilizer, delayed neuropathic progression in patients with Val30Met TTR familial amyloid polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP) in an 18-month randomized controlled trial (study Fx-005). This 12-month, open-label extension study evaluated the long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of tafamidis 20 mg once daily in 86 patients who earlier received blinded treatment with tafamidis or placebo. Efficacy measures included the Neuropathy Impairment Score in the Lower Limbs (NIS-LL), Norfolk Quality of Life-Diabetic Neuropathy total quality of life (TQOL) score, and changes in neurologic function and nutritional status. We quantified the monthly rates of change in efficacy measures, and TTR stabilization, and monitored adverse events (AEs). Patients who continued on tafamidis had stable rates of change in NIS-LL (from 0.08 to 0.11/month; p = 0.60) and TQOL (from −0.03 to 0.25; p = 0.16). In patients switched from placebo, the monthly rate of change in NIS-LL declined (from 0.34 to 0.16/month; p = 0.01), as did TQOL score (from 0.61 to −0.16; p < 0.001). Patients treated with tafamidis for 30 months had 55.9 % greater preservation of neurologic function as measured by the NIS-LL than patients in whom tafamidis was initiated later. Plasma TTR was stabilized in 94.1 % of patients treated with tafamidis for 30 months. AEs were similar between groups; no patients discontinued because of an AE. Long-term tafamidis was well tolerated, with the reduced rate of neurologic deterioration sustained over 30 months. Tafamidis also slowed neurologic impairment in patients previously given placebo, but treatment benefits were greater when tafamidis was begun earlier.
Transthyretin amyloidosis; Familial amyloid polyneuropathy; Tafamidis; Disease modification
Risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) decreases with increasing plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. If this association reflected a protective effect of vitamin D, MS risk should be lower among individuals carrying genetic variants that predict high 25(OH)D levels. The aim of the study was to determine whether individuals with genotypes predicting higher 25(OH)D levels have decreased MS risk. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with 25(OH)D levels and MS risk in 1,655 cases and 6,349 controls. Analyses were further stratified by HLA-DR15 status, assessed by genotyping a single SNP strongly correlated with the HLA DRB1*1501 risk haplotype, and complemented by considering a SNP near CYP27B1. SNPs in GC were predictors of 25(OH)D levels, but not MS risk, in either HLA-DR15 negative or HLA-DR15 positive individuals. In contrast, there was a suggestion of a difference in the effect of a CYP2R1 allele dependent on HLA-DR15 genotype. The ‘A’ allele of CYP2R1 rs10741657 was associated with increased 25(OH)D levels and a non-significant reduced MS risk among HLA-DR15 negative (OR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.79, 1.01) that was not apparent in HLA-DR15 positive individuals. The ‘C’ allele of CYP27B1 rs703842 was inversely associated with MS risk; this association appeared stronger among HLA-DR15 negative (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.90) compared to HLA-DR15 positive individuals (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.80, 1.04). This preliminary finding suggests the possibility that the putative beneficial effect of vitamin D on MS risk maybe attenuated in individuals carrying the HLA-DR15 MS risk allele.
Multiple sclerosis; Genetics; HLA-DR15; Vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D
Although two studies have indicated a possible link between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, these were reported from Europe, where the prevalence of H. pylori infection is not very high. In this study, the prevalence of H. pylori infection was examined in AD patients in Japan, where there is a high prevalence of H. pylori. Consecutive patients referred to the Memory and Dementia Outpatient Clinic from August 2002 to March 2009 were studied. H. pylori infection status was determined by measuring urinary levels of anti-H. pylori antibody (RAPIRUN®). Multiple stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations of AD with the main predictor variables. Of the 917 patients who visited the clinic, 385 were diagnosed as having AD. Ninety-seven patients did not have dementia and were considered controls. On univariate analysis, average age and the proportion of males were significantly higher in AD patients than in controls. There was no difference in the prevalence of H. pylori infection between patients with AD and controls (62.0% vs. 59.7%, p = 0.67, crude odds ratio (OR), 1.10). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that older age and male sex, but not H. pylori status, were significantly associated with AD (p < 0.001, p = 0.01, p = 0.83, respectively). The prevalence of H. pylori infection did not differ between AD patients and controls among Japanese subjects. The high prevalence of H. pylori in controls may contribute to the discrepancy with previous reports.
Alzheimer’s disease; Helicobacter pylori; Urine test
This exploratory study aims to create an evidence-based comprehensive characterization of hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (hyperPP). HyperPP is a rare genetic disorder that causes episodes of flaccid paralysis. Disease descriptions in the literature are based upon isolated clinical encounters and case reports. We describe the experience of a large cohort of genetically diagnosed individuals with hyperPP. We surveyed genetically characterized individuals age 18 and over to assess disease comorbidities, diagnostic testing, management, and quality of life issues relevant to hyperPP. Myotonia was reported by 55.8 % of subjects and paramyotonia by 45.3 %. There is a relative risk of 3.6 (p < 0.0001) for thyroid dysfunction compared to the general population. Twenty-five percent of subjects experienced their sentinel attack in the second decade of life. It took an average of 19.4 years and visits to four physicians to arrive at the diagnosis of hyperPP. In addition to limbs and hands being affected during attacks, 26.1 % of subjects reported their breathing musculature was affected and 62.0 % reported their facial muscles were affected. There was a lifelong trend of increasing attack frequency, which was particularly common during childhood and adolescence. Approximately one-third of individuals experienced progressive myopathy. Permanent muscle weakness was evident and worsened during childhood and after age 40. Those with no chronic treatment regimen have a RR of 2.3 for inadequate disease control compared to those taking long-term medications. This study revealed a multitude of heretofore unidentified characteristics of hyperPP, in addition to providing a different perspective on some previously held notions regarding the condition.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00415-013-7025-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Periodic paralysis; Hyperkalemia; Flaccid paralysis; Myotonia; Paramyotonia; Stiffness
Vascular factors are thought to contribute to the development of disease pathology in neurodegenerative dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Another entity, called vascular dementia (VaD), comprises a less defined group of dementia patients having various vascular diseases that especially emerge in the elderly population and require valid options for examination and differential diagnosis. In the context of a retrospective study, we analyzed the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers t-tau, p-tau and Aß42 of a total of 131 patients with AD (n = 47), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 22), VaD (n = 44) and stroke (n = 18). We found a remarkable alteration in CSF biomarker profile in AD, VaD and in acute ischemic events. CSF profile in AD patients was altered in a very similar way as in stroke patients, without statistical differences. In stroke, increase depend largely on size and duration after the initial event. Total tau levels were useful to differ between VaD and stroke. Aß42 decreased in a similar way in AD, VaD and stroke and had a trend to lower levels in MCI but not in controls.
CSF; Biomarkers; Aß; Tau; Alzheimer’s disease; Vascular dementia; Stroke
Multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses impose a substantial clinical and economic burden. Teriflunomide is a new oral disease-modifying therapy approved for the treatment of relapsing MS. We evaluated the effects of teriflunomide treatment on relapse-related neurological sequelae and healthcare resource use in a post hoc analysis of the Phase III TEMSO study. Confirmed relapses associated with neurological sequelae [defined by an increase in Expanded Disability Status Scale/Functional System (sequelae-EDSS/FS) ≥30 days post relapse or by the investigator (sequelae-investigator)] were analyzed in the modified intention-to-treat population (n = 1086). Relapses requiring hospitalization or intravenous (IV) corticosteroids, all hospitalizations, emergency medical facility visits (EMFV), and hospitalized nights for relapse were also assessed. Annualized rates were derived using a Poisson model with treatment, baseline EDSS strata, and region as covariates. Risks of sequelae and hospitalization per relapse were calculated as percentages and groups were compared with a χ2 test. Compared with placebo, teriflunomide reduced annualized rates of relapses with sequelae-EDSS/FS [7 mg by 32 % (p = 0.0019); 14 mg by 36 % (p = 0.0011)] and sequelae-investigator [25 % (p = 0.071); 53 % (p < 0.0001)], relapses leading to hospitalization [36 % (p = 0.015); 59 % (p < 0.0001)], and relapses requiring IV corticosteroids [29 % (p = 0.001); 34 % (p = 0.0003)]. Teriflunomide-treated patients spent fewer nights in hospital for relapse (p < 0.01). Teriflunomide 14 mg also decreased annualized rates of all hospitalizations (p = 0.01) and EMFV (p = 0.004). The impact of teriflunomide on relapse-related neurological sequelae and relapses requiring healthcare resources may translate into reduced healthcare costs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00415-013-6979-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Clinical trial; Economics; Multiple sclerosis; Outcome assessment (Health Care); Teriflunomide
No existing medication has yet been shown to convincingly improve cerebellar ataxia. Therefore, the identification of new drugs for its symptomatic treatment is desirable. The objective of this case series was to evaluate the efficacy of treatment of cerebellar ataxia with the amino acid acetyl-dl-leucine (Tanganil). Thirteen patients (eight males, median age 51 years) with degenerative cerebellar ataxia of different etiologies (SCA1/2, ADCA, AOA, SAOA) were treated with acetyl-dl-leucine (5 g/day) without titration for 1 week. Motor function was evaluated by changes in the Scale for the Rating and Assessment of Ataxia (SARA) and in the Spinocerebellar Ataxia Functional Index (SCAFI) during treatment compared to a baseline examination. Quality of life (EuroQol-5D-3L) and side effects were also assessed. Mean total SARA decreased remarkably (p = 0.002) from a baseline of 16.1 ± 7.1 to 12.8 ± 6.8 (mean ± SD) on medication. There were also significant improvements in sub-scores for gait (p = 0.022), speech (p = 0.007), finger-chase (p = 0.042), nose-finger-test (p = 0.035), rapid-alternating-movements (p = 0.002) and heel-to-shin (p = 0.018). Furthermore, patients showed better performance in the SCAFI consisting of the 8-m-walking-time (8 MW, p = 0.003), 9-Hole-Peg-Test of the dominant hand (9HPTD, p = 0.011) and the PATA rate (p = 0.005). Quality of life increased during treatment (p = 0.003). No side effects were reported. In conclusion, acetyl-dl-leucine significantly improved ataxic symptoms without side effects and therefore showed a good risk–benefit profile. These findings need to be confirmed in placebo-controlled trials.
Ataxia; Cerebellum; Cerebellar ataxia; Acetyl-dl-leucine; Pharmacotherapy
Saccades are a potentially important biomarker of Huntington disease (HD) progression, as saccadic abnormalities can be detected both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Although vertical saccadic impairment was reported decades ago, recent studies have focused on horizontal saccades. This study investigated antisaccade (AS) and memory guided saccade (MG) impairment in both the horizontal and vertical directions in individuals with the disease-causing CAG expansion (CAG+; n = 74), using those without the expansion (CAG−; n = 47) as controls. Percentage of errors, latency, and variability of latency were used to measure saccadic performance. We evaluated the benefits of measuring saccades in both directions by comparing effect sizes of horizontal and vertical measures, and by investigating the correlation of saccadic measures with underlying gray matter loss. Consistent with previous studies, AS and MG impairments were detected prior to the onset of manifest disease. Furthermore, the largest effect sizes were found for vertical saccades. A subset of participants (12 CAG−, 12 premanifest CAG+, 7 manifest HD) underwent magnetic resonance imaging, and an automated parcellation and segmentation procedure was used to extract thickness and volume measures in saccade-generating and inhibiting regions. These measures were then tested for associations with saccadic impairment. Latency of vertical AS was significantly associated with atrophy in the left superior frontal gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, and bilateral caudate nuclei. This study suggests an important role for measuring vertical saccades. Vertical saccades may possess more statistical power than horizontal saccades, and the latency of vertical AS is associated with gray matter loss in both cortical and subcortical regions important in saccade function.
Huntington disease; Premanifest; Saccades; MRI; Gray matter atrophy
This study compared the neurology residency training experience for a single neurology resident at the University of Pennsylvania from the years 2002–2005. The prevalence of encounters seen during this residency was compared to the prevalence of neurological disorders typically observed by ambulatory neurologists in the United States (US). A total of 1,333 patients were evaluated during this residency. Ischemic stroke/ transient ischemic accident, epilepsy, metabolic encephalopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis were the most common neurological disorders observed. The four most common reasons for an outpatient visit to a neurologist (i.e. headache/migraine, epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral neuropathy) typically account for ~ 49–55% of all appointments, but only contributed to ~40% of patient encounters during this neurology residency. While these results reflect the encounters of a single neurology resident, both the total number and distribution of neurological diagnoses were similar to previous experiences over two decades ago at US academic medical centers despite significant changes in health care delivery and policy. This case report demonstrates that neurology residency programs continue to overemphasize acute management of inpatient neurological disorders compared to outpatient care of more prevalent neurological complaints. Additional measures could be instituted to ensure a broader range of experiences during residency (i.e. online resident log). These methods could allow residency coordinators to identify certain areas of deficiency in regards to exposure to patients for a resident and ensure greater competency during residency.
We compared the severity of white matter T2-hyperintensities (WMH) in the frontal lobe and occipital lobe using a visual MRI score in 102 patients with lobar intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) diagnosed with possible or probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), 99 patients with hypertension-related deep ICH, and 159 normal elderly subjects from a population-based cohort. The frontal-occipital (FO) gradient was used to describe the difference in the severity of WMH between the frontal lobe and occipital lobe. A higher proportion of subjects with obvious occipital dominant WMH (FO gradient ≤−2) was found among patients with lobar ICH than among healthy elderly subjects (FO gradient ≤−2: 13.7 vs. 5.7%, p = 0.03). Subjects with obvious occipital dominant WMH were more likely to have more WMH (p = 0.0006) and a significantly higher prevalence of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (45.8% vs. 19.4%, p = 0.04) than those who had obvious frontal dominant WMH. This finding is consistent with the relative predilection of CAA for posterior brain regions, and suggests that white matter lesions may preferentially occur in areas of greatest vascular pathology.
Intercerebral hemorrhage; White matter hyperintensity; Cerebral amyloid angiopathy
The Aphasia Rapid Test (ART) is a 26-point scale developed as a bedside assessment to rate aphasia severity in acute stroke patients in <3 min. We tested its inter-rater reproducibility, its sensitivity to detect changes from Day 1 to Day 8, and the predictive value of D8 ART scores on the 3-month aphasia outcome assessed with the Aphasia Handicap Score (AHS), a 0–5 “Rankin-like” score for aphasic disability. The reproducibility was tested in 91 aphasic patients within one week of stroke onset. The inter-rater concordance coefficient was 0.99 and the weighted Kappa value (κw) was 0.93. The sensitivity was tested in 70 aphasic patients by measuring changes in ART values between D1 and D8. Improvement occurred in 46 patients (66 %) and aggravation in three patients (4 %). In these patients, a logistic regression analysis showed that D8 ART was the only significant predictor of good (AHS 0–2) or poor (AHS 4–5) outcome. The ROC curves analyzes showed areas under the curve above 0.9 for good and poor outcome and revealed D8 ART best cut-off values of <12 for good and >21 for poor outcome, with more than 90 % sensitivity and 80 % specificity. The ART is a simple, rapid and reproducible language task, useful in monitoring early aphasic changes in acute stroke patients and highly predictive of the 3-month verbal communication outcome. It should be easy to adapt to other languages.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00415-013-6943-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Acute stroke; Outcomes; Functional recovery; Language outcome; Rating scale
Patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA) often have evidence of compromised gastrointestinal motility. Ghrelin is a gut hormone that influences gastrointestinal motility in humans. The aim of this study was to determine whether ghrelin secretion is affected in MSA patients, and to investigate the relation between ghrelin secretion and gastrointestinal symptoms. Plasma levels of active ghrelin and unacylated ghrelin were measured in patients with MSA (n = 30), other atypical parkinsonian disorders including progressive supranuclear palsy-Richardson syndrome and corticobasal syndrome (n = 24), and control subjects (n = 24) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Gastrointestinal symptoms were quantified in all subjects using a self-report questionnaire. The ratio of active ghrelin to total ghrelin in the plasma (active ghrelin ratio) was lower in patients with MSA (mean: 8.0 %) than in patients with other atypical parkinsonian disorders (mean: 13.7 %, P = 0.001) and control subjects (mean: 13.9 %, P = 0.001). The active ghrelin ratio was correlated with the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms in MSA (r = −0.5, P = 0.004). Our observations indicate that ghrelin secretion is affected in patients with MSA. The low active ghrelin ratio may contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms in MSA.
Multiple system atrophy; Progressive supranuclear palsy; Corticobasal syndrome; Autonomic dysfunction; Ghrelin; Gastrointestinal symptom
We have investigated how the abnormal head posture and motility in spasmodic torticollis interferes with ecological movements such as combined eye-to-foot whole-body reorientations to visual targets. Eight mildly affected patients and 10 controls voluntarily rotated eyes and body in response to illuminated targets of eccentricities up to ±180°. The experimental protocol allowed separate evaluation of the effects of target location, visibility and predictability on movement parameters. Patients’ latencies of eye, head, trunk and foot motion were prolonged but showed a normal modification pattern when target location was predictable. Peak head-on-trunk displacement and velocity were reduced both ipsi- and contralaterally with respect to the direction of torticollis. Surprisingly, peak trunk velocity was also reduced, even more than in previously studied patients with Parkinson’s disease. As a consequence, patients made short, hypometric gaze saccades and only exceptionally foveated initially nonvisible targets with a single large gaze shift (4 % of predictable trials as opposed to 30 % in controls). Foveation of distant targets was massively delayed by more than half a second on average. Spontaneous dystonic head movements did not interfere with the execution of voluntary gaze shifts. The results show that neck dystonia does not arise from gaze (head-eye) motor centres but the eye-to-foot turning synergy is seriously compromised. For the first time we identify significant ‘secondary’ complications of torticollis such as trunk bradykinesia and foveation delays, likely to cause additional disability in patients. Eye movements per se are intact and compensate for the reduced head/trunk performance in an adaptive manner.
Cervical dystonia; Movement coordination; Turning; Gaze; Torticollis
Diagnosis of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) in stroke patients is challenging, but highly clinically relevant. The percentage of stroke patients with permanent AF increases with age, but limited data are available for the age-dependent yield of paroxysmal AF by Holter monitoring. Patients with acute cerebral ischemia were included into the prospective observational Find-AF study. Patients free from AF at presentation received 7 day Holter monitoring. We calculated the percentage of otherwise undetected paroxysmal AF and the number needed to screen for age groups under 60 years, and in 5 year clusters from the age of 60 up to 85 and older. 272 patients were included, 43 (15.8 %) had AF at admission, 33 patients with paroxysmal AF were identified by 7 day Holter (n = 29) or medical history (n = 4).The yield of 7 day Holter ECG clearly increased with older age (p = 0.004): <60 years: 5 %, 60–64 years: 5 %, 65–69 years: 7 %, 70–74 years: 11 %, 75–79 years: 13 %, 80–84 years: 25 %, ≥85 years: 39 %. The number needed to screen (NNS) to find one patient with paroxysmal AF decreased with age: ≤60 years: 18, 60–64 years: 20, 65–69 years: 14, 70–74 years: 9, 75–79 years: 8, 80–84 years: 4, ≥85 years: 3, respectively. In patients <65 years, all AF cases were detected by Holter ECG. The percentage of paroxysmal AF in stroke patients increases with age. The 7 day Holter ECG is most efficient in elderly patients.
Age; Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation; Screening; Stroke; Atrial fibrillation; Cohort study