An interesting association of ictal hypopnea and ictal generalized EEG attenuation (IGEA) as possible marker of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is reported. We describe a 5-years-old girl with left focal seizures with secondary generalization due to right occipital cortical dysplasia presenting with ictal hypopnea and IGEA. She had repeated episodes of the ictal apnoea in the past requiring ventilator support and intensive care unit (ICU) admission during episodes of status epilepticus. The IGEA lasted for 0.26-4.68 seconds coinciding with the ictal hypopnea during which both clinical seizure and electrical epileptic activity stopped. Review of literature showed correlation between post-ictal apnoea and post ictal generalized EEG suppression and increased risk for SUDEP. The report adds to the growing body of literature on peri-ictal apnea, about its association with IGEA might be considered as a marker for SUDEP. She is seizure free for 4 months following surgery.
Ictal hypopnea; ictal generalized EEG attenuation; occipital lobe epilepsy; status epilepticus; sudden unexpected death in epilepsy; SUDEP
We studied the anatomical correlates of reflex hot water epilepsy (HWE) using multimodality investigations viz. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Five men (mean age: 27.0 5.8 years) with HWE were subjected to MRI of brain, video-EEG studies, and SPECT scan. These were correlated with phenotypic presentations. Seizures could be precipitated in three patients with pouring of hot water over the head and semiology of seizures was suggestive of temporal lobe epilepsy. Ictal SPECT showed hyperperfusion in: left medial temporal — one, left lateral temporal — one, and right parietal — one. Interictal SPECT was normal in all five patients and did not help in localization. MRI and interictal EEG was normal in all the patients. The clinical and SPECT studies suggested temporal lobe as the seizure onset zone in some of the patients with HWE.
Hot water epilepsy; magnetic resonance imaging; single photon emission computed tomography; temporal lobe epilepsy
We studied the changes in Polysomnographic (PSG) profile in drug-naïve patients of Parkinson's disease (PD) who underwent evaluation with sleep overnight PSG.
Materials and Methods:
This prospective study included 30 with newly diagnosed levodopa-naïve patients with PD, fulfilling the UK-PD society brain bank clinical diagnostic criteria (M:F = 25:5; age: 57.2 ± 10.7 years). The disease severity scales and sleep related questionnaires were administered, and then patients were subjected to overnight PSG.
The mean duration of illness was 9.7 ± 9.5 months. The mean Hoehn and Yahr stage was 1.8 ± 0.4. The mean Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor score improved from 27.7 ± 9.2 to 17.5 ± 8.9 with sustained usage of levodopa. Nocturnal sleep as assessed by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was impaired in 10 (33.3%) patients (mean PSQI score: 5.1 ± 3.1). Excessive day time somnolence was recorded in three patients with Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score ≥ 10 (mean ESS score: 4.0 ± 3.4). PSG analysis revealed that poor sleep efficiency of <85% was present in 86.7% of patients (mean: 68.3 ± 21.3%). The latencies to sleep onset (mean: 49.8 ± 67.0 minutes) and stage 2 sleep (36.5 ± 13.1%) were prolonged while slow wave sleep was shortened. Respiration during sleep was significantly impaired in which 43.3% had impaired apnoea hyperpnoea index (AHI) ≥5, mean AHI: 8.3 ± 12.1). Apnoeic episodes were predominantly obstructive (obstructive sleep apnea, OSA index = 2.2 ± 5.1). These patients had periodic leg movement (PLM) disorder (56.7% had PLM index of 5 or more, mean PLMI: 27.53 ± 4 9.05) that resulted in excessive daytime somnolence.
To conclude, sleep macro-architecture is altered in frequently and variably in levodopa-naïve patients of PD and the alterations are possibly due to disease process per se.
Drug-naïve PD; sleep disorders; Parkinson's disease; polysomnography; questionnaire study
There are 50 million people living with epilepsy worldwide, and most of them reside in developing countries. About 10 million persons with epilepsy are there in India. Many people with active epilepsy do not receive appropriate treatment for their condition, leading to large treatment gap. The lack of knowledge of antiepileptic drugs, poverty, cultural beliefs, stigma, poor health infrastructure, and shortage of trained professionals contribute for the treatment gap. Infectious diseases play an important role in seizures and long-term burden causing both new-onset epilepsy and status epilepticus. Proper education and appropriate health care services can make tremendous change in a country like India. There have been many original researches in various aspects of epilepsy across India. Some of the geographically specific epilepsies occur only in certain regions of our country which have been highlighted by authors. Even the pre-surgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy is available in many centers in our country. This article attempts to provide a complete preview of epilepsy in India.
Epilepsy in India; epilepsy surgery; hot water epilepsy; progressive myoclonic epilepsy; status epilepticus; treatment gap; women with epilepsy
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) non-invasively measures the magnetic field generated due to the excitatory postsynaptic electrical activity of the apical dendritic pyramidal cells. Such a tiny magnetic field is measured with the help of the biomagnetometer sensors coupled with the Super Conducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) inside the magnetically shielded room (MSR). The subjects are usually screened for the presence of ferromagnetic materials, and then the head position indicator coils, electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes (if measured simultaneously), and fiducials are digitized using a 3D digitizer, which aids in movement correction and also in transferring the MEG data from the head coordinates to the device and voxel coordinates, thereby enabling more accurate co-registration and localization. MEG data pre-processing involves filtering the data for environmental and subject interferences, artefact identification, and rejection. Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) is processed for correction and identifying fiducials. After choosing and computing for the appropriate head models (spherical or realistic; boundary/finite element model), the interictal/ictal epileptiform discharges are selected and modeled by an appropriate source modeling technique (clinically and commonly used — single equivalent current dipole — ECD model). The equivalent current dipole (ECD) source localization of the modeled interictal epileptiform discharge (IED) is considered physiologically valid or acceptable based on waveform morphology, isofield pattern, and dipole parameters (localization, dipole moment, confidence volume, goodness of fit). Thus, MEG source localization can aid clinicians in sublobar localization, lateralization, and grid placement, by evoking the irritative/seizure onset zone. It also accurately localizes the eloquent cortex-like visual, language areas. MEG also aids in diagnosing and delineating multiple novel findings in other neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsonism, Traumatic brain injury, autistic disorders, and so oon.
Epilepsy analysis; head and source model; Magnetoencephalography (MEG); MEG acquisition
During the colloquium on drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore on August 16-18, 2013, a number of presentations were made on the surgically remediable lesional epilepsy syndromes, presurgical evaluation, surgical techniques, neuropathology of drug resistance focal epilepsy and surgical outcome. This pictorial essay with the illustrative case examples provides an overview of the various surgical techniques for the management of drug-resistant focal epilepsy.
Drug-resistant epilepsy; epilepsy surgery; epilepsy; surgical techniques
Abetalipoproteinemia is an uncommon cause of ataxia and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Most of the neurological and ocular manifestations occur secondary to deficiency syndromes that is consequent to fat malabsorption from the small intestine. In this report, we have described the phenotype of a young adult female who manifested with recurrent diarrheal illness in her first decade, followed by anemia, RP, and neurological involvement with progressive deafness, cerebellar and sensory ataxia, and subclinical neuropathy in her second decade of life. While RP and sensory ataxia due to vitamin E deficiency are well-recognized features of abetalipoproteinemia, deafness is rarely described. In addition, we have highlighted the abnormal posterior column signal changes in the cervical cord in this patient. Early recognition avoids unnecessary investigations and has a potential to retard the disease progression by replacing some of the deficient vitamins.
Abetalipoproteinemia; acanthocytes; dorsal column hyperintensity; magnetic resonance imaging
We studied the phenotype and electroencephalographic (EEG) features, and therapeutic aspects of idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs) in South Indian population.
Patients and Methods:
This prospective cross-sectional hospital-based study was carried out on non-consecutive 287 patients (age 22.2 ± 7.7 years; M:F = 139:148) with IGE syndrome. Their clinical and EEG observations were analyzed.
Majority of the patients had onset of seizures <20 years of age (n = 178; 62%). Thirty one patients (10.8%) had family history of epilepsy. Nearly half of them (49.9%) had <5 years of duration of seizures. The type of IGEs included Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME): 115 (40.1%); IGE with generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) only: 102 (39.02%); childhood absence epilepsy (CAE): 35 (12.2%); GTCS on awakening: 15 (5.2%); Juvenile absence epilepsy (JAE): 11 (3.8%); and unclassified seizures: 9 (3.1%). The triggering factors noted in 45% were sleep deprivation (20%), non-compliance and stress in 5% each. The EEG (n = 280) showed epileptiform discharges in about 50% of patients. Epileptiform discharges during activation was observed in 40/249 patients (16.1%): Hyperventilation in 32 (12.8%) and photic stimulation in 19 (7.6%). The seizures were well controlled with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in 232 (80.8%) patients and among them, 225 (78.4%) patients were on monotherapy. Valproate (n = 131) was the most frequently prescribed as monotherapy.
This is one of the largest cohort of patients with IGE. This study reiterates the importance of segregating IGE syndrome and such analysis will aid to the current understanding and management.
Electroencephalographic; idiopathic generalized epilepsy; epilepsy syndromes; seizure types
The occurrence of epilepsy is higher among elderly patients. The clinical manifestations of seizures, causes of epilepsy, and choice of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are different in elderly people with epilepsy compared to the young.
To evaluate the imaging (CT/MRI) observations in elderly patients manifesting with new-onset seizures.
Materials and Methods:
Two hundred and one elderly patients with new onset seizures, >60 years (age: 68.0 ± 7.5 years; M:F = 1.8:1) from Jan’ 07 to Jan’ 09, were prospectively recruited. Observations of cranial CT scan (n = 201) and MR imaging (n = 43) were analyzed.
The type of seizures included: Simple partial (42%), generalized tonic-clonic (30.3%), and complex partial (27.4%). The pattern of epilepsy syndromes were acute symptomatic (42.3%), remote symptomatic (18.4%), cryptogenic (37.8%), and idiopathic (1.5%). Seizures were controlled with monotherapy in 85%. The CT scan (n = 201) revealed cerebral atrophy (139), mild (79), moderate (43), and severe (18); focal lesions (98), infarcts (45), hemorrhages (18), granuloma (16), tumor (15) and gliosis (4), and hemispheric atrophy (1), white matter changes (75) and diffuse edema (21). An MRI (n = 43) showed variable degree of cerebral atrophy (31); white matter changes (20); focal cerebral lesions (24); - infarct (7); intracranial hemorrhage (6); granuloma (5); tumor (6); gliosis (1); hemispheric atrophy (1); and prominent Virchow-Robin spaces (7); and UBOs (12). Patients with focal lesions in neuroimaging more often had partial seizures, symptomatic epilepsy, past stroke, focal deficit, absence of diffuse atrophy, focal EEG slowing, abnormal CSF, seizure recurrence at follow-up (P < 0.05).
Brain imaging observations in elderly patients with new-onset seizures revealed underlying symptomatic nature, hence the etiology and thereby assisted in deciding the specific therapy.
Computerized tomographyt; Magnetic resonance imaging; seizures in elderly
Hashimoto's encephalopathy (H.E.) is probably of autoimmune etiology, and manifests with seizures, stroke-like episodes, cognitive decline, neuropsychiatric symptoms, myoclonus. It is presumed to be autoimmune in origin with high serum titers of antithyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPA). Thyroid function might often be normal. The diagnosis is arrived at by excluding other toxic, metabolic and infectious causes of encephalopathies, supportive clinical profile, elevated thyroid antibodies and optimum steroid response. We present the characteristic phenotypic manifestations, magnetic resonance imaging and electroechography observations and response to immunomodulation with follow-up in three cases of H.E. All the three cases manifested with subacute to chronic progressive encephalopathy, cerebellar dysfunction, seizures, behavioral abnormalities and oculomotor disturbances and had evidence of hypothyroidism, elevated titers of anti-TPA and positive thyroid anti-microsomal antibodies. Atypical and uncommon presentations are known. This report emphasizes that a high index of suspicion is often required in cases with “investigation negative encephalopathy” for early diagnosis of H.E.
Antithyroid peroxidase antibodies; Hashimoto's encephalopathy
We proposed to detect sleep abnormalities in Wilson’s disease, (WD) using sleep questionnaires.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-five patients (M:F = 18:7; age: 24.4 ± 9.2 years) with WD and 24 controls (all males; age: 33.1 ± 9.7 years) were recruited. They underwent phenotypic/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation followed by administration of Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) questionnaires.
The mean age at presentation and diagnosis was 24.4 ± 9.2 and 17.6 ± 7.5 years, respectively. The duration of illness at diagnosis was 14 ± 21.9 months. On PSQI, 15 patients with WD had abnormal PSQI scores of >5 as compared to 6 patients among the controls. The mean PSQI score was significantly more (P = 0.03) in patients compared to the controls. The PSQI worst scores were noted only in WD. Evaluation with ESS showed that three patients with WD scored >10/24, while two among the controls qualified for excessive daytime sleepiness. Overall, assessment by sleep questionnaires detected abnormality in 16 patients with WD as compared to 8 controls (P = 0.004). Subgroup analysis revealed that patients whose duration of illness was >8 years and who were on decoppering treatment had significantly lesser excessive daytime somnolence.
Sleep disturbances were observed more often in WD than in controls. Better designed studies will provide a better understanding.
Epworth sleepiness scale; Pittsburg sleep quality index; sleep; sleep questionnaire; Wilson’s disease
Familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAN type 1) is a rare systemic disease that causes severe and disabling peripheral neuropathy. We describe the phenotypic, radiological, and pathological characteristics of a patient with familial amyloid polyneuropathy type 1 who had evidence of motor-sensory-autonomic neuropathy, ocular vitreous deposits, diffuse leptomeningeal involvement, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Muscle involvement, an infrequently reported feature, was also observed. Early recognition of the disease has significant therapeutic implications.
Amyloidosis; cardiomyopathy; familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy; leptomeningitis; myopathy; neuropathy; vitreous deposits
Lead is a ubiquitous and versatile metal that has been used by mankind for many years. It is a toxic heavy metal that ranks as one of the most important environmental poisons in the world. Research conducted in recent years has increased public health concern about the toxicity of lead at low doses and has supported a reappraisal of the levels of lead exposure that may be safely tolerated in the workplace. Neuropathy is one complication of lead poisoning. The aim of this study is to describe the phenotypic and electrophysiological profile in five male patients working in a battery factory who developed radial nerve neuropathy due to lead exposure. All patients had elevated blood lead levels that were in the toxic range. The concerned regulatory bodies should make it mandatory for workers to undergo regular health checkups to detect signs of lead poisoning and must ensure that workers are aware about the ill effects of exposure to this metal. Chelation therapy removes lead from the blood and soft tissues and chronic lead exposure often requires repeated courses of treatment.
Electrophysiology; lead; neuropathy; radial nerve
An 11-year-old girl manifested with photophobia, ptosis, external ophthalmoplegia, hypotonia, weakness of proximal limb muscles, hyporeflexia, and generalized seizures (six months). Her elder sister had had uncontrolled seizures and photophobia and died at seven years of age. In the patient, serum lactate was high (55 mg/dl). Muscle biopsy revealed characteristic ragged red and ragged blue fibers, diagnostic of mitochondrial cytopathy. Sequencing of the complete mitochondrial genome of the DNA obtained from the muscle biopsy of the patient did not show any characteristic mutation. Four months later, the girl was admitted with a one-week history of epilepsia partialis continua (EPC). EEG revealed Periodic Lateralized Epileptiform Discharges (PLEDs), once in 2-4 seconds, over the right temporo-occipital leads. MRI revealed signal change of right motor cortex, which had restricted diffusion. MR spectroscopy (MRS) from this region revealed lactate peak. EPC remained refractory to multiple anti-epileptic drugs, immuno-modulators, coenzyme-Q, and carnitine. This thought provoking report expands the spectrum of mitochondrial cytopathies.
Chronic progressive external ophtalmoplegia; epilepsia partialis continua; mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitochondrial Encephalopathy with Ragged Red Fiber; MRI; periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges