To assess the quality of life (QoL) and prevalence of psychological problems (PP) in patients with neurological illness, and their correlation with functional abilities.
Materials and Methods:
Prospective cross-sectional study conducted in the neurological rehabilitation unit of tertiary research hospital in 30 consecutive hospitalized patients (21 men), age 16-55 years (34.63±11.87).
WHOQoL-BREF was used to assess QoL. The prevalence of PP was recorded using Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). QoL and HADS scores were correlated with functional abilities using mean Barthel Index (BI) Score.
The duration of illness was three to 30 months (10.63±7.83) and their primary diagnoses were stroke 12, traumatic spinal cord injury seven and non-traumatic spinal cord lesion 11. Twenty-two patients qualified for GHQ-12 caseness, with 15 patients having distress (score ≥15) and seven having severe problem and psychological distress (score≥20). Twenty five patients had abnormal anxiety and 17 had abnormal depression on HADS (abnormal = 8-21), with moderate to severe anxiety and depression (scores≥11) in nine and three patients respectively. The mean WHOQoL-BREF transformed scores (on WHOQoL 0-100 scale) were (38.83±8.02), (50.76±9.79), (48.53±18.46) and (49.13±10.63) in physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains respectively. The social domain of QoL had significant correlation (P<.05) with functional abilities.
Patients with neurological disorders requiring inpatient rehabilitation have impaired QoL that affects all domains of life. There is high prevalence of psychological problems, including anxiety and depression. The social domain of QoL adversely affected functional abilities, but the correlation between PP and functional abilities was insignificant.
Neurological dysfunction; psychological adjustment difficulty; quality of life
There exist individual, institutional and national barriers to change, none more so than when introducing new therapies into medical practice especially those that involve organizational change. This paper, presented as an address to the joint meeting of the Association of British Neurologists and the Indian Academy of Neurology in October 2007, explores these barriers in the context of the instruction of thrombolytic therapy for patients with acute ischaemic stroke and suggests how they might be overcome using evidence from relevant clinical trials and observational studies.
Ischemic stroke; thrombolytic therapy
Carbon monoxide poisoning is not uncommon during the winter months. To make a diagnosis, strong clinical suspicion and acumen, and history of the exposure are necessary. Many a time, the presenting complaints may fail to help reach a diagnosis, in the absence of history. Imaging plays a role in the diagnosis of brain injury with the characteristic features, which are correlated with the clinical profile. Isolated bilateral basal ganglia injury revealing T2 hyperintensity in MRI may be observed in acute carbon monoxide poisoning.
Basal ganglia; carbon monoxide; T2- hyperintensity
A number of diabetic patients with diabetic neuropathy, in India, were treated with epalrestat, an aldose reductase inhibitor. In this study, more than 2000 patients with diabetic neuropathy, who were treated with epalrestat for 3-12 months, were analyzed to assess the efficacy and the adverse reactions of the drug.
We analyzed the subjective symptoms (spontaneous pain, numbness, coldness and hypoesthesia) and the nerve function tests (motor nerve conduction velocity, sensory nerve conduction velocity and vibration threshold).
The improvement rate of the subjective symptoms was 75% (slightly improved or better) and that of the nerve function tests 36%. Adverse drug reactions were encountered in 52 (2.5%) of the 2190 patients, none of which was severe.
Although data are limited, it is strongly suggested that epalrestat is a highly effective and safe agent for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetes; peripheral neuropathy; aldolase reductase inhibitor
Several aspects of physiology, notably blood pressure, body temperature, blood glucose, and blood oxygen saturation, may be altered after an ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage. Generally, blood pressure and temperature rise acutely after a stroke, before returning to normal. Blood glucose and oxygen levels may be abnormal in individuals, but they do not follow a set pattern. Several aspects of these physiological alterations remain unclear, including their principal determinants - whether they genuinely affect prognosis (as opposed to merely representing underlying processes such as inflammation or a stress response), whether these effects are adaptive or maladaptive, whether the effects are specific to certain subgroups (e.g. lacunar stroke) and whether modifying physiology also modifies its prognostic effect. Hypertension and hyperglycemia may be helpful or harmful, depending on the perfusion status after an ischemic stroke; the therapeutic response to their lowering may be correspondingly variable. Hypothermia may provide benefits, in addition to preventing harm through protection from hyperthermia. Hypoxia is harmful, but normobaric hyperoxia is unhelpful or even harmful in normoxic patients. Hyperbaric hyperoxia, however, may be beneficial, though this remains unproven. The above-mentioned uncertainties necessitate generally conservative measures for physiology management, although there are notably specific recommendations for thrombolysis-eligible patients. Stroke unit care is associated with better outcome, possibly through better management of poststroke physiology. Stroke units can also facilitate research to clarify the relationship between physiology and prognosis, and to subsequently clarify management guidelines.
Blood glucose; blood pressure; body temperature; cerebrovascular disorders; oxygen
Malignant syndrome is a rare complication occurring during the course of drug treatment for Parkinson's disease. It resembles neuroleptic malignant syndrome and is characterized by fever, marked rigidity, altered consciousness, leucocytosis and elevated creatine kinase. Malignant syndrome is a potentially fatal condition and awareness of this condition is imperative for prevention and treatment. The commonest precipitating factor is dopaminergic drug withdrawal or dose reduction. We report malignant syndrome (precipitated by hyponatremia) in a case of Parkinson's disease, in the absence of dopaminergic drug withdrawal. A 60-year-old man presented with fever, severe rigidity and altered sensorium following repeated vomiting. On investigation, he was found to have hyponatremia precipitated malignant syndrome. Treatment with hydration, cooling, correction of hyponatremia and dopaminergic drugs reversed his condition. The triad of fever, severe rigidity and altered sensorium should prompt evaluation for malignant syndrome in Parkinson's disease.
Hyponatremia; malignant syndrome; Parkinson's disease
Rhodotorula species may be responsible for systemic infection in immunocompromised patients. Meningitis by Rhodotorula species in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected persons has been reported previously. We report a case of meningitis caused by Rhodotorula mucilaginosa in a 36-year-old HIV seropositive male patient who presented with fever, altered sensorium and features of meningeal irritation i.e. neck rigidity. The Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cell counts were high, showing 150 cells/mm3, with 60% lymphocytes and 40% polymorphs, and protein content of 100 mg%; glucose was 60 mg%. The diagnosis was confirmed by culture on Sabouraud's Dextrose agar. The patient was treated successfully with intensive Amphotericin B (1 mg/kg), for two weeks, followed by oral Itraconazole (400 mg daily), for a period of two months. The patient was started on anti retroviral therapy. He did not show any relapse of the symptoms when the last follow up was done six months after the date of discharge.
Human immunodeficiency virus; meningitis; Rhodotorula
Given the constraints of resources, thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is under evaluation in developing countries like India, especially in areas such as western Utter Pradesh, where it is overly crowded and there is poor affordability.
This study was done to evaluate recombinant tissue plasminogen activator r-tpa in acute ischemic stroke in hyper acute phase, in selected patients of western Utter Pradesh, in terms of feasibility and effectivity.
Open, non randomized study.
Materials and Methods:
Thirty two patients were classified using Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke treatment (TOAST) criteria (large artery atherosclerotic = 8; cardio embolic = 6; small vessel occlusion = 14; other determined etiology = 2; undetermined etiology = 2). The mean time to reach the hospital was 2 h (1.15-3.0), the mean door to CT scan 20 min (10-40) and door to r-tpa injection was 30 min (24-68). The National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores ranged from 11-22 (mean 15.5 +2.7). The dose of r-tpa administered was 0.9 mg/kg.
Twenty one patients (65.6%) showed significant improvement on the NIHSS score, at 48 h (4 points). (Mean change = 10; range = 4-17). At one month, 25 (78%) recorded improvement on the Barthel index (mean change = 45%). One developed frontal lobe hemorrhage and another developed recurrent stroke; one died of aspiration; and four showed no improvement. Modified Rankin score (m RS) was administered at the end of three months to 28 patients (90%); however, the rest could not be directly observed. The average modified Rankin Score was 1.2 (0-2).
Hyperacute thrombolysis was found feasible and effective in selected patients with AIS from western Utter Pradesh and who had poor affordability.
r-tpa; stroke; thrombolysis
Only few papers have investigated the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS), especially MS-related fatigue and the impact of the quality of sleep on the quality of life (QoL) in MS patients.
The objective of this study was to measure the quality of life in MS patients and the impact of disability, fatigue and sleep quality, using statistical modeling.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted and data was collected from 141 MS patients, who were referred to the Mottahari Clinic, Shiraz, Iran, in 2005. Data on health-related quality of life (MSQoL-54), fatigue severity scale (FSS), and Pittsburgh sleep quality Index (PSQI) were obtained in the case of all the patients. Epidemiology data concerning MS type, MS functional system score, expanded disability status scale (EDSS) etc. were also provided by a qualified neurologist. Spearman α coefficient, Mann-Whitney U test, and linear regression model were used to analyze the data.
The mean ±SD age of 141 MS patients was 32.6±9.6 year. Thirty five (24.8%) of them were male and the others were female. Eighty two (58.1%) of the patients had EDSS score of ≤ 2, 36 (25.5%) between 2.5 and 4.5, and 23 (16.3%) ≥ 5. As per PSQI scores, two (1.4%) of the patients had good sleep, 16 (11.3%) had moderate sleep and 123 (87.2%) had poor sleep. There was a significant high positive correlation between the quality of mental and physical health composite scores (r = 0.791, P<0.001). There was a significant negative correlation between the quality of physical score and age (r = -0.88, P<0.001), fatigue score (r = -0.640, P<0.001), EDSS score (r = -0.476, P<0.001) and PSQI (sleep quality r = -0.514, P<0.000). Linear regression analysis showed that PSQI score, EDSS, and fatigue score were predictors in the model between the quality of physical score and covariates (P<0.001). Linear regression model showed that fatigue score and PSQI were predictors in the model between the quality of mental score and covariates (P<0.001).
Discussion and Conclusion:
In conclusion, it may be said that MS patients had poor and moderate quality of mental and physical health. The quality of life was impaired as seen by PSQI, EDSS, and FSS. It is our suggestion that these patients require the attention of health care professionals, to be observed for the need of possible psychological support.
Disability; fatigue; multiple sclerosis; quality of life; sleep quality
Flexor spasms are involuntary muscle contractions comprising dorsiflexion at the ankle and flexion at the knee and the hip, occurring as a result of nociceptive spinal release reflex. The presence of flexor spasms generally suggests a lesion in the spinal cord. Foot drop is usually seen with lesions of lumbosacral roots, peripheral nerves or muscles. We hereby present a patient with a rare combination of spastic foot drop and flexor spasms due to a brain tumor. The possible underlying pathophysiological mechanisms resulting in flexor spasms due to a cerebral lesion are briefly discussed.
Brain tumor; flexor spasms; spastic foot drop
Acquired myasthenia Gravis (MG), a disorder of impaired neuromuscular transmission is recognized as an autoimmune disorder, with a majority of the patients having antibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR antibodies) in the serum.
Aim and Objectives:
To correlate the AChR antibody status with the clinical characteristics of patients with myasthenia gravis.
Retrospective and prospective study.
Materials and Methods:
This study was carried out in patients with definite MG, attending the Neurology services of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, during the period 1999-2003. The AChR antibody status was determined using the direct and indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique.
There were 165 patients in this study (M : F :: 1.5 : 1). The overall seropositivity rate was 59.4%. Seropositive patients had higher age of onset and presentation, and more frequent occurrence of crises, both at presentation and at any time during the course. Other parameters, viz. gender of the patient, Osserman staging, thymic enlargement on CT and remission during follow-up did not differ between the two groups.
This communication reports the result of AChR antibody assay in a large cohort of patients, using a simple diagnostic tool, namely direct and indirect ELISA technique. In addition, the characteristics of a large cohort of patients with seronegative myasthenia gravis are described.
AChR antibodies; enzyme linked immunosorbent assay; myasthenia gravis; seronegative myasthenia Gravis
Fabry's disease, an X linked recessive disorder caused by the deficiency of α-galactosidase A (α-gal A), leads to progressive accumulation of glycosphingolipids. We report this rare disease in a 19-year-old boy who presented with angiokeratomas, paresthesia and corneal opacities, and nerve biopsy revealed by electron microscopy lamellated inclusions in the smooth muscle, perineurial and endothelial cells characteristic of Fabry's disease.
Angiokeratomas; Fabry's disease; lamellated inclusions
It is a great pleasure to be asked to honour the memory of Dr. Baldev Singh by reviewing the field of autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis and other neurotransmission disorders. The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is the site of a number of different autoimmune and genetic disorders, and it is also the target of many neurotoxins from venomous snakes, spiders, scorpions and other species. The molecular organization of the NMJ is graphically represented in Figure 1A, where different ion channels, receptors and other proteins are shown. Four of the ion channels or receptors are directly involved in autoimmune diseases. This brief review will not only concentrate on these conditions but also illustrate how their study is helping us to understand the etiology of rare but treatable neurological syndromes of the central nervous system.
Acetylcholine receptor antibody; myasthenia; neuromuscular junction
The global workspace of consciousness was proposed in its elementary framework by Baars, in 1982. Since the time of inception, there have been many speculations and modifications of this theory, but the central theme has remained the same, which refers to the global availability of information in the brain. However, the present understanding about the origin of this global workspace or its mechanism of operation is still deficient. One of the less-studied candidates for this global workspace is the electromagnetic field of the brain. The present work is a brief review of the theoretical underpinnings of the Global workspace model, in terms of its theoretical framework and neuroimaging evidences. Subsequently, we turn towards another broad group of theories of consciousness, in the form of electromagnetic field theories. We then proceed to highlight some electromagnetic correlates derived from these theories for this global access phenomenon.
Electromagnetic field; global workspace
Headache patients commonly report sleep disruption and sleep disorders. Available literature suggests that the sleep pattern of headache sufferers is different from the control group. Patients in these studies were recruited from headache clinics; they did not include tension type headache.
The aim of this study is to find out whether primary headaches affect sleep patterns.
Settings and Design:
Community based cross sectional study
Materials and Methods:
This study was conducted in three high schools. Children in the 12-19 age group were allowed to participate. They were given a questionnaire in the presence of at least one of the authors, who assisted them in filling it. They were asked to provide responses based on most severe recurrent headache that they had experienced rather than the more frequent ones. The questionnaire included questions regarding demographic data and the characteristics of headache according to International Classification of Headache Disorders-2 criteria. Part B of the questionnaire contained questions regarding sleep habits. The children were asked to provide data regarding sleep habits on a normal school day. Diagnosis was based upon the information contained in the questionnaire. A telephonic interview was also done, where the information provided was found inadequate.
Statistical Analysis Used:
Analysis was done with the help of SPSS v. 11.0., descriptive analysis, Chi square, and one way ANOVA with post hoc analysis. Kruskall-Wallis tests were run.
A total of 1862 subjects were included in the study. Migraineurs and tension type headache sufferers comprised 35.7% and 13.4% of the group respectively. Migraineurs had the highest prevalence of nocturnal awakenings (P < 0.001), abnormal movements (P=0.001) and breathing problems during sleep (P < 0.001). Approximately half the migraineurs felt sleepy during the day (P< 0.001) and spent around 1.17 hours in sleep during the day (P = 0.007). Similarly, values for frequency of nocturnal awakenings per week (P < 0.001), wake time after sleep onset and offset (P < 0.001 and 0.002 respectively) were the maximum in migraineurs. Only 32.8% migraineurs reported refreshing sleep (P< 0.001). Post hoc analysis revealed that migraineurs were different from the other two groups on most of the parameters.
Sleep disruption is more common in migraineurs than those in the tension type headache sufferers and the control group.
Migraine; sleep; sleep-disruption; tension type headache
The aim of this study is to present a comprehensive profile of clinical and psychosocial characteristics of children with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and to assess the short-term outcome of these patients.
Materials and Methods:
The subjects were consecutive cases of children with a diagnosis of nonepileptic seizures (N=17, mean age = 10.7 years, S.D. = 1.26) and two groups of control groups matched on age and sex: true seizure group and healthy controls. All the children were recruited from the out-patient services of the Department of Pediatrics of a tertiary care teaching hospital in North India. Detailed history taking and clinical examination was done in the case of every child. A standard 18 channel EEG was done in all the children and a video EEG was done in 12 cases of children with nonepileptic seizures. The Childhood Psychopathology Measurement Schedule (CPMS) and Life Events Scale for Indian Children (LESIC) were used to measure the children's emotional and behavioral functioning at home, and the number of life events and the stress associated with these events in the preceding year and the year before that. Short-term outcome was examined three to six months after the diagnosis of nonepileptic seizures was made.
Unresponsiveness without marked motor manifestations was the most common “ictal” characteristic of the nonepileptic seizures. Pelvic thrusting, upper and lower limb movements, head movements, and vocalization were observed in less than one-third of the patients. Increased psychosocial stress and significantly higher number of life events in the preceding year were found to characterize children with nonepileptic seizures, as compared to the two control groups. The nonepileptic seizures and true seizures groups had a higher proportion of children with psychopathology scores in the clinically significant maladjustment range, as compared to those in the healthy control group. A majority of the patients (82.4%) either recovered completely or had more than 50% reduction in the frequency of their symptoms, after three to six months of initiation of therapy.
Psychosocial stress is common among children with nonepileptic seizures. Confirmatory diagnosis by video EEG, along with prompt psychosocial intervention, often results in a favorable outcome for most children with nonepileptic seizures.
Clinical features; nonepileptic seizures; psychosocial stress; short-term outcome
We report the case of a 16-year-old boy diagnosed to have Sotos syndrome, with rare association of bilateral primary optic atrophy and epilepsy. He presented with accelerated linear growth, facial gestalt, distinctive facial features, seizures and progressive diminution of vision in both eyes. He had features of gigantism from early childhood. An MRI showed that brain and endocrine functions were normal. This case is of interest, as we have to be aware of this not so rare disorder. In addition to the classic features, there were two unusual associations with Sotos syndrome in the patient.
Cerebral gigantism; epilepsy; primary optic atrophy; sotos syndrome