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1.  Safety and Efficacy of Antihypertensive Prescription at Emergency Department Discharge 
Poor blood pressure (BP) control is a primary risk factor for target organ damage in the heart, brain, and kidney. Uncontrolled hypertension is common among emergency department (ED) patients, particularly in underresourced settings, but it is unclear what role ED providers should play in the management of chronic antihypertensive therapy.
The objective was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of prescribing antihypertensive therapy from the ED.
This was a retrospective study of data pooled from two prospective, longitudinal, randomized controlled trials, both of which enrolled ED patients with asymptomatic hypertension. Antihypertensives were prescribed at emergency physician discretion, and this was not related to randomization arm. Demographic data, BP at screening and randomization visit, and data on adverse effects potentially related to antihypertensive therapy were compiled. Means were compared using Student’s t-tests, and proportions were compared using chi-square tests. The effect of antihypertensive therapy on BP control was further analyzed using multivariable regression modeling controlling for age, race, sex, hypertension history, study cohort, and ED BP.
Data were abstracted for 217 subjects. The median interval from ED visit to randomization was 12 days. Seventy-six subjects (35%) received one or more prescriptions for antihypertensive therapy. Age, sex, race, hypertension history, and mean duration of hypertension were equivalent between groups. Although mean ED BP was higher among those who received prescriptions, the mean systolic BP (sBP) reduction from ED to randomization was significantly greater (difference = 19 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval = 12 to 26 mm Hg). No patient in either group had an sBP less than 100 mm Hg at randomization. On multiple regression modeling, randomization sBP reduction was independently associated with antihypertensive prescription (p = 0.001). The incidence of adverse effects was equivalent and low in both groups. No new neurological deficits, ischemic events, or life-threatening anaphylactic reactions were reported in either group.
Prescription of antihypertensive medication from the ED is associated with significantly lower sBP at short-term outpatient follow-up. Antihypertensive therapy was not associated with an increased incidence of adverse events, and BP reduction did not exceed potentially harmful levels. Initiation of chronic antihypertensive therapy in the ED is safe and effective and may be a reasonable consideration for at-risk populations.
PMCID: PMC5050391  PMID: 25904073
3.  Better Object Recognition and Naming Outcome With MRI-Guided Stereotactic Laser Amygdalohippocampotomy for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy 
Epilepsia  2014;56(1):101-113.
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients experience significant deficits in category-related object recognition and naming following standard surgical approaches. These deficits may result from a decoupling of core processing modules (e.g., language, visual processing, semantic memory), due to “collateral damage” to temporal regions outside the hippocampus following open surgical approaches. We predicted stereotactic laser amygdalohippocampotomy (SLAH) would minimize such deficits because it preserves white matter pathways and neocortical regions critical for these cognitive processes.
Tests of naming and recognition of common nouns (Boston Naming Test) and famous persons were compared with nonparametric analyses using exact tests between a group of nineteen patients with medically-intractable mesial TLE undergoing SLAH (10 dominant, 9 nondominant), and a comparable series of TLE patients undergoing standard surgical approaches (n=39) using a prospective, non-randomized, non-blinded, parallel group design.
Performance declines were significantly greater for the dominant TLE patients undergoing open resection versus SLAH for naming famous faces and common nouns (F=24.3, p<.0001, η2=.57, & F=11.2, p<.001, η2=.39, respectively), and for the nondominant TLE patients undergoing open resection versus SLAH for recognizing famous faces (F=3.9, p<.02, η2=.19). When examined on an individual subject basis, no SLAH patients experienced any performance declines on these measures. In contrast, 32 of the 39 undergoing standard surgical approaches declined on one or more measures for both object types (p<.001, Fisher’s exact test). Twenty-one of 22 left (dominant) TLE patients declined on one or both naming tasks after open resection, while 11 of 17 right (non-dominant) TLE patients declined on face recognition.
Preliminary results suggest 1) naming and recognition functions can be spared in TLE patients undergoing SLAH, and 2) the hippocampus does not appear to be an essential component of neural networks underlying name retrieval or recognition of common objects or famous faces.
PMCID: PMC4446987  PMID: 25489630
epilepsy surgery; naming and recognition; cognitive outcome; famous faces; laser interstitial thermal therapy; LITT
4.  Calorie and Protein Intake in Acute Rehabilitation Inpatients with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Versus Other Diagnoses 
Obesity and its consequences affect patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). There is a paucity of data with regard to the dietary intake patterns of patients with SCI in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting. Our hypothesis is that acute rehabilitation inpatients with SCI consume significantly more calories and protein than other inpatient rehabilitation diagnoses.
To compare calorie and protein intake in patients with new SCI versus other diagnoses (new traumatic brain injury [TBI], new stroke, and Parkinson’s disease [PD]) in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting.
The intake of 78 acute rehabilitation inpatients was recorded by registered dieticians utilizing once-weekly calorie and protein intake calculations.
Mean ± SD calorie intake (kcal) for the SCI, TBI, stroke, and PD groups was 1,967.9 ± 611.6, 1,546.8 ± 352.3, 1,459.7 ± 443.2, and 1,459.4 ± 434.6, respectively. ANOVA revealed a significant overall group difference, F(3, 74) = 4.74, P = .004. Mean ± SD protein intake (g) for the SCI, TBI, stroke, and PD groups was 71.5 ± 25.0, 61.1 ± 12.8, 57.6 ± 16.6, and 55.1 ± 19.1, respectively. ANOVA did not reveal an overall group difference, F(3, 74) = 2.50, P = .066.
Given the diet-related comorbidities and energy balance abnormalities associated with SCI, combined with the intake levels demonstrated in this study, education with regard to appropriate calorie intake in patients with SCI should be given in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting.
PMCID: PMC3743973  PMID: 23960707
nutritional requirements; obesity; spinal cord injuries
5.  Efficacy of methylprednisolone versus other pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of central post-stroke pain: a retrospective analysis 
Journal of Pain Research  2013;6:557-563.
To determine if an oral, tapered methylprednisolone regimen is superior to other commonly used pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of central post-stroke pain (CPSP).
Patients and methods
In this study, the charts of 146 stroke patients admitted to acute inpatient rehabilitation were retrospectively reviewed. Patients diagnosed with CPSP underwent further chart review to assess numerical rating scale for pain scores and as-needed pain medication usage at different time points comparing CPSP patients treated with methylprednisolone to those treated with other pharmacologic interventions.
In the sample, 8.2% were diagnosed with CPSP during acute care or inpatient rehabilitation. Mean numerical rating scale for pain scores day of symptom onset did not differ between those patients treated with methylprednisolone versus those treated with other pharmacologic interventions (mean ± standard deviation; 6.1 ± 2.3 versus 5.7 ± 1.6, P = 0.77). However, mean numerical rating scale for pain scores differed significantly 1-day after treatment initiation (1.7 ± 2.1 versus 5.0 ± 1.9, P = 0.03) and 1-day prior to rehabilitation discharge (0.3 ± 0.9 versus 4.1 ± 3.2, P = 0.01) between the two groups. Compared to day of symptom onset, as-needed pain medication usage within the methylprednisolone group was marginally less 1-day after treatment initiation (Z = −1.73, P = 0.08) and 1-day prior to rehabilitation discharge (Z = −1.89, P = 0.06). No difference in as-needed pain medication usage existed within the non-steroid group at the same time points.
Methylprednisolone is a potential therapeutic option for CPSP. The findings herein warrant study in prospective trials.
PMCID: PMC3720594  PMID: 23900279
stroke; pain; central post-stroke pain; complex regional pain syndromes; therapeutics; neuralgia
6.  Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the WAIS-IV/WMS-IV 
Assessment  2011;18(2):178-191.
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–fourth edition (WAIS-IV) and the Wechsler Memory Scale–fourth edition (WMS-IV) were co-developed to be used individually or as a combined battery of tests. The independent factor structure of each of the tests has been identified; however, the combined factor structure has yet to be determined. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to the WAIS-IV/WMS-IV Adult battery (i.e., age 16-69 years) co-norming sample (n = 900) to test 13 measurement models. The results indicated that two models fit the data equally well. One model is a seven-factor solution without a hierarchical general ability factor: Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Processing Speed, Auditory Working Memory, Visual Working Memory, Auditory Memory, and Visual Memory. The second model is a five-factor model composed of Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Processing Speed, Working Memory, and Memory with a hierarchical general ability factor. Interpretative implications for each model are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3625533  PMID: 21208975
WAIS-IV; WMS-IV; joint factor analysis; confirmatory factor analysis; memory; working memory; intelligence
7.  The Oral Trail Making Test: Effects of Age and Concurrent Validity† 
The oral version of the Trail Making Test (OTMT) is a neuropsychological measure that provides an assessment of sequential set-shifting without the motor and visual demands of the written TMT (WTMT). Originally purposed to serve as an oral analog of the WTMT, the OTMT provides a means to evaluate patients with physical restrictions. However, formal validity studies and available normative data remain sparse. In a sample of healthy adults (n = 81), a strong correlation was observed between OTMT-B and its written counterpart (r = .62), but the correlations were weak between OTMT-A and either written version of the TMT. OTMT-B was significantly correlated with age but not with education or gender, whereas OTMT-A was not significantly correlated with demographic factors. The WTMT to OTMT ratios observed in the current study were generally lower than previously reported and varied across age groups, suggesting that the recommended use of a uniform conversion factor to predict one performance based on the other should be cautiously undertaken. Normative data that have been stratified by age are provided as well as suggestions for using both versions of the TMT in tandem to better elucidate the nature of cognitive deficits and to aid in the localization of cerebral dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2858599  PMID: 20197294
Neuropsychology; Normative data; Cognitive tests; Trail Making Tests; Neuropsychological assessment
8.  Concussion Symptom Inventory: An Empirically Derived Scale for Monitoring Resolution of Symptoms Following Sport-Related Concussion 
Self-report post-concussion symptom scales have been a key method for monitoring recovery from sport-related concussion, to assist in medical management, and return-to-play decision-making. To date, however, item selection and scaling metrics for these instruments have been based solely upon clinical judgment, and no one scale has been identified as the “gold standard”. We analyzed a large set of data from existing scales obtained from three separate case–control studies in order to derive a sensitive and efficient scale for this application by eliminating items that were found to be insensitive to concussion. Baseline data from symptom checklists including a total of 27 symptom variables were collected from a total of 16,350 high school and college athletes. Follow-up data were obtained from 641 athletes who subsequently incurred a concussion. Symptom checklists were administered at baseline (preseason), immediately post-concussion, post-game, and at 1, 3, and 5 days post-injury. Effect-size analyses resulted in the retention of only 12 of the 27 variables. Receiver-operating characteristic analyses were used to confirm that the reduction in items did not reduce sensitivity or specificity. The newly derived Concussion Symptom Inventory is presented and recommended as a research and clinical tool for monitoring recovery from sport-related concussion.
PMCID: PMC2800775  PMID: 19549721
Brain injury; Post-concussion; Scale

Results 1-8 (8)