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1.  Impaired small fiber conduction in patients with Fabry disease: a neurophysiological case–control study 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:47.
Background
Fabry disease is an inborn lysosomal storage disorder which is associated with small fiber neuropathy. We set out to investigate small fiber conduction in Fabry patients using pain-related evoked potentials (PREP).
Methods
In this case–control study we prospectively studied 76 consecutive Fabry patients for electrical small fiber conduction in correlation with small fiber function and morphology. Data were compared with healthy controls using non-parametric statistical tests. All patients underwent neurological examination and were investigated with pain and depression questionnaires. Small fiber function (quantitative sensory testing, QST), morphology (skin punch biopsy), and electrical conduction (PREP) were assessed and correlated. Patients were stratified for gender and disease severity as reflected by renal function.
Results
All Fabry patients (31 men, 45 women) had small fiber neuropathy. Men with Fabry disease showed impaired cold (p < 0.01) and warm perception (p < 0.05), while women did not differ from controls. Intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) was reduced at the lower leg (p < 0.001) and the back (p < 0.05) mainly of men with impaired renal function. When investigating A-delta fiber conduction with PREP, men but not women with Fabry disease had lower amplitudes upon stimulation at face (p < 0.01), hands (p < 0.05), and feet (p < 0.01) compared to controls. PREP amplitudes further decreased with advance in disease severity. PREP amplitudes and warm (p < 0.05) and cold detection thresholds (p < 0.01) at the feet correlated positively in male patients.
Conclusion
Small fiber conduction is impaired in men with Fabry disease and worsens with advanced disease severity. PREP are well-suited to measure A-delta fiber conduction.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-47
PMCID: PMC3672069  PMID: 23705943
Fabry disease; Pain-related evoked potentials; Small fiber neuropathy; A-delta fibers
2.  Hypervigilance or avoidance of trigger related cues in migraineurs? - A case-control study using the emotional stroop task 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:141.
Background
"Negative affect" is one of the major migraine triggers. The aim of the study was to assess attentional biases for negative affective stimuli that might be related to migraine triggers in migraine patients with either few or frequent migraine and healthy controls.
Methods
Thirty-three subjects with frequent migraine (FM) or with less frequent episodic migraine, and 20 healthy controls conducted two emotional Stroop tasks in the interictal period. In task 1, general affective words and in task 2, pictures of affective faces (angry, neutral, happy) were used. For each task we calculated two emotional Stroop indices. Groups were compared using one-way ANOVAs.
Results
The expected attentional bias in migraine patients was not found. However, in task 2 the controls showed a significant attentional bias to negative faces, whereas the FM group showed indices near zero. Thus, the FM group responded faster to negative than to positive stimuli. The difference between the groups was statistically significant.
Conclusions
The findings in the FM group may reflect a learned avoidance mechanism away from affective migraine triggers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-141
PMCID: PMC3235964  PMID: 22054256
3.  Novel SCARB2 mutation in action myoclonus-renal failure syndrome and evaluation of SCARB2 mutations in isolated AMRF features 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:134.
Background
Action myoclonus-renal failure syndrome is a hereditary form of progressive myoclonus epilepsy associated with renal failure. It is considered to be an autosomal-recessive disease related to loss-of-function mutations in SCARB2. We studied a German AMRF family, additionally showing signs of demyelinating polyneuropathy and dilated cardiomyopathy.
To test the hypothesis whether isolated appearance of individual AMRF syndrome features could be related to heterozygote SCARB2 mutations, we screened for SCARB2 mutations in unrelated patients showing isolated AMRF features.
Methods
In the AMRF family all exons of SCARB2 were analyzed by Sanger sequencing. The mutation screening of unrelated patients with isolated AMRF features affected by either epilepsy (n = 103, progressive myoclonus epilepsy or generalized epilepsy), demyelinating polyneuropathy (n = 103), renal failure (n = 192) or dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 85) was performed as high resolution melting curve analysis of the SCARB2 exons.
Results
A novel homozygous 1 bp deletion (c.111delC) in SCARB2 was found by sequencing three affected homozygous siblings of the affected family. A heterozygous sister showed generalized seizures and reduction of nerve conduction velocity in her legs. No mutations were found in the epilepsy, renal failure or dilated cardiomyopathy samples. In the polyneuropathy sample two individuals with demyelinating disease were found to be carriers of a SCARB2 frameshift mutation (c.666delCCTTA).
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that demyelinating polyneuropathy and dilated cardiomyopathy are part of the action myoclonus-renal failure syndrome. Moreover, they raise the possibility that in rare cases heterozygous SCARB2 mutations may be associated with PNP features.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-134
PMCID: PMC3222607  PMID: 22032306
4.  A modified score to identify and discriminate neuropathic pain: a study on the German version of the neuropathic pain symptom inventory (NPSI) 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:104.
Background
Neuropathic pain must be correctly diagnosed for optimal treatment. The questionnaire named Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (NPSI) was developed in its original French version to evaluate the different symptoms of neuropathic pain. We hypothesized that the NPSI might also be used to differentiate neuropathic from non-neuropathic pain.
Methods
We translated the NPSI into German using a standard forward-backward translation and administered it in a case-control design to patients with neuropathic (n = 68) and non-neuropathic pain (headache and osteoarthritis, n = 169) to validate it and to analyze its discriminant properties, its sensitivity to change, and to detect neuropathic pain subgroups with distinct profiles.
Results
Using a sum score (the NPSI-G score), we found sensitivity to change (r between 0.37 and 0.5 for pain items of the graded chronic pain scale) and could distinguish between neuropathic and other pain on a group basis, but not for individual patients. Post hoc development of a discriminant score with optimized diagnostic properties to distinguish neuropathic pain from non-neuropathic pain resulted in an instrument with high sensitivity (91%) and acceptable specificity (70%). We detected six different pain profiles in the patient group with neuropathic pain; three profiles were found to be distinct.
Conclusions
The NPSI-G potentially combines the properties of a diagnostic tool and an instrument to identify subtypes of neuropathic pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-104
PMCID: PMC3180265  PMID: 21861889
5.  Early diagnosis of peripheral nervous system involvement in Fabry disease and treatment of neuropathic pain: the report of an expert panel 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:61.
Background
Fabry disease is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by progressive lysosomal accumulation of lipids in a variety of cell types, including neural cells. Small, unmyelinated nerve fibers are particularly affected and small fiber peripheral neuropathy often clinically manifests at young age. Peripheral pain can be chronic and/or occur as provoked attacks of excruciating pain. Manifestations of dysfunction of small autonomic fibers may include, among others, impaired sweating, gastrointestinal dysmotility, and abnormal pain perception. Patients with Fabry disease often remain undiagnosed until severe complications involving the kidney, heart, peripheral nerves and/or brain have arisen.
Methods
An international expert panel convened with the goal to provide guidance to clinicians who may encounter unrecognized patients with Fabry disease on how to diagnose these patients early using simple diagnostic tests. A further aim was to offer recommendations to control neuropathic pain.
Results
We describe the neuropathy in Fabry disease, focusing on peripheral small fiber dysfunction - the hallmark of early neurologic involvement in this disorder. The clinical course of peripheral pain is summarized, and the importance of medical history-taking, including family history, is highlighted. A thorough physical examination (e.g., angiokeratoma, corneal opacities) and simple non-invasive sensory perception tests could provide clues to the diagnosis of Fabry disease. Reported early clinical benefits of enzyme replacement therapy include reduction of neuropathic pain, and adequate management of residual pain to a tolerable and functional level can substantially improve the quality of life for patients.
Conclusions
Our recommendations can assist in diagnosing Fabry small fiber neuropathy early, and offer clinicians guidance in controlling peripheral pain. This is particularly important since management of pain in young patients with Fabry disease appears to be inadequate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-61
PMCID: PMC3126707  PMID: 21619592
Diagnosis; Fabry Disease; Neuropathy; Pain; Treatment

Results 1-5 (5)