Professionals in Japan tend to regard the individual contexts of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) as the cause of their passive participation in self-care activities or self-management. However, the meaning of self-care involves variables that interrelate with sociocultural factors. Thus, it is necessary to uncover its meaning in the perceptions of persons with cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI) in order not only to implement better rehabilitation but also to understand the sociocultural constraints that determine the injured person’s attitudes to self-care and long-term health outcomes.
Semi-structured interviews with 29 CSCI participants from fourteen municipalities of Osaka, Hyogo, and Ehime prefectures were conducted. Participants contributed diverse perspectives on rehabilitation, lay-professional and family relationships, health promotion, and body conceptions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using the grounded theory approach to inter-relate categories and to develop theoretical constructions.
Four main themes emerged from the data: rehabilitation for independence in ADLs; detachment from the body and self; embodiment; and self-management. From the participants’ point of view, rehabilitation programs in Japan aim at improving body functions for ADL performance, but provide little health education. These rehabilitation values might hinder some participants from developing self-esteem for their bodies. Moreover, socially-shaped family caregivers’ active engagement in the participants’ self-care allowed many participants to entirely rely on them for care. Through embodiment, participants found that self-care was not merely a means of independence in ADLs but also of self-management to enhance health and well-being, requiring collaborative relationships with caregivers.
Personal factors such as low motivation for self-care might be in part a reflection of social expectations of dependence for persons with CSCI. However, the shift in the meaning of self-care from ADLs to self-management implies more active participation in health care needs, shaped through social exchanges. Not only personal factors but also sociocultural factors influence the injured person’s valuation of self-care. There is a need for further research to better understand sociocultural influences on illness behaviors among persons with CSCI, so that clinical and community practice can develop accordingly.
Self-care; Self-management; Rehabilitation; Illness behavior; Health promotion; Spinal cord injury
Limited data are available on the outcome of antiepileptic drug treatment response in patients of Chinese Han ethnicity with newly diagnosed epilepsy. We sought to explore the prognosis with antiepileptic drug treatment and to identify the predictors of poor drug control of seizures in these patients.
For at least 2 years, we prospectively followed up a cohort of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy and analyzed the response to each antiepileptic drug. Cumulative risk for seizure relapse after initial remission achieved was estimated. The patients were divided into two groups (poor and good control) and compared for clinical characteristics.
A total of 180 patients were included. Early remission was reached in 125 (69.44%) patients, 19 (10.56%) patients entered late remission, while 36 (20%) patients failed to achieve remission. The relapse rates were 19.5% at 2 years and 31.9% at 3 years of the follow-up. The response rates of the first throughout the fourth treatment regimens were 60.0%, 16.1%, 2.8%, and 0.6%, respectively. Multiple seizure types and changes in seizure type during treatment were significantly (p = 0.013 and 0.047, respectively) associated with a poor control.
The prognosis of the majority of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy is good and the clinical pattern of epilepsy during treatment is complex. The chances of seizure control declines with each subsequent treatment regimen. The prognosis for patients with multiple seizure types and seizure type changes during treatment is unfavorable.
Antiepileptic drugs; Clinical pattern; Drug-resistant epilepsy; Prognosis; Risk factors
Only a few case reports and case series dealing with oral and dental health care are available in literature until now. The aim of the present pilot study was to determine the status of dental health in comparison to matched controls and to heighten the neurologists’ and dentists’ awareness of the oral aspects of the disease.
42 Huntington’s disease (HD) participants were scored according to the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale. The dental status was assessed by using the well established score for decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) and the dental plaque score (Silness-Loe plaque index).
Compared to controls HD participants showed significantly more decayed teeth and more plaques in both plaque indices. A higher motor impairment and a lower functional status of the patients lead to a worsening in dental status.
Possible reasons for our findings are discussed. Apart from local oral complications general complications may also occur. Thus, as a consequence, we would encourage patients, caregivers, neurologists, and the dentists to ensure regular preventive dental examinations and dental treatments of individuals with Huntington’s disease even in the premanifest stage of this disease.
Ropinirole prolonged release (RPR) is a once-daily formulation. However, there may be individual pharmacokinetic differences so that multiple dosing may be preferred in some individuals. This study compares once-daily and twice-daily RPR in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
This study was an open-label crossover study. We enrolled Parkinson’s disease patients on dopamine agonist therapy with unsatisfactory control such as motor fluctuation, dyskinesia and sleep-related problems. Agonists were switched into equivalent dose of RPR. Subjects were consecutively enrolled into either once-daily first or twice-daily first groups, and received the same amount of RPR in a single and two divided dosing for 8 weeks respectively in a crossover manner without a washout period.
The primary outcome was a questionnaire of the preference completed by patients in the last visit. The secondary outcome measures included the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale part 3 (mUPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr stage (H&Y); sleep questionnaire including overall quality of sleep, nocturnal off symptoms and early morning symptoms; Epworth Sleep Scale (ESS); compliances and patient global impression (PGI).
A total of 82 patients were enrolled and 61 completed the study. 31 patients preferred twice-daily regimen, 17 preferred the once-daily regimen, and 13 had no preference. Their mean mUPDRS, H&Y, ESS, sleep quality, compliance and adverse events were not statistically different in both regimens. PGI-improvement on wearing off defined was better in twice-daily dosing regimen.
RPR is a once-daily formulation, but multiple dosing was preferred in many patients. Multiple dosing of RPR might be a therapeutic option if once-daily dosing is unsatisfactory.
This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number
Parkinson’s disease; Motor control; Movement disorders; Dopamine agonist
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) suggested eight quality measures to be observed at every patient visit. The aim of this work is to compare the percentage of documentation of each measure before and after the implementation of a new worksheet in a third-level center.
Quasi-experimental study including medical records filled by medical school seniors and junior residents supervised by an epileptologist. The authors surveyed 80 consecutive charts of people with epilepsy who were seen in the outpatient clinic before and after the intervention. McNemar change test was used to compare the percentages of documentation of each quality measure–i.e., seizure type and frequency, etiology, EEG, MRI/CT head scans, AED side effects, surgical therapy referral, safety counseling, preconception counseling–and physical exam. Each quality measure was considered to be fulfilled only if it was assessed and properly recorded.
Mean age was 35(±13) years, 55% women, mean epilepsy onset at age 18(±15), 82% presented with partial-onset seizures. The reporting rate improved for all quality measures (previous vs new), reaching statistical significance for: seizure type 80vs94% (p < 0.05), AED side effects 8vs24%, etiology 66vs88% (p < 0.01), safety counseling 5vs64%, preconception counseling 4vs20%, and physical exam 63vs94% (p < 0.001).
A quality-oriented epilepsy worksheet led to a better practice standardization and documentation of AAN standards for diagnostic and counseling purposes. Further evaluations should be undertaken to assess the impact on medical education and patient care.
Academic medical center; Quality of health care; Adult epilepsy; Health education; AAN epilepsy quality measures; General practitioners
The possibility that retroviruses play a role in multiple sclerosis (MS) has long been considered; accumulating findings suggest this to be most likely in the form of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs). A genetic test series of fifty endogenous retroviral loci for association with MS in Danes showed SNP markers near a specific endogenous retroviral locus, HERV-Fc1 located on the X-chromosome, to be positive. Bout Onset MS was associated with the HERV-Fc1 locus, while a rarer form, Primary Progressive MS, was not. Moreover, HERV-Fc1 Gag RNA in plasma was increased 4-fold in patients with recent history of attacks, relative to patients in a stable state and to healthy controls.
Finally, genetic variations in restriction genes for retroviruses influence the risk of MS, providing further support for a role of retroviral elements in disease.
We speculate that endogenous retroviruses may activate the innate immune system in a variety of ways, involving the host proteins, TRIMs, TLRs, TREXs and STING. Observations in HIV-positive patients suggest that antiretroviral drugs can curb MS. Thus, these new findings regarding the etiology and pathogenesis of MS, suggest alternative ways to challenge autoimmune diseases.
Multiple sclerosis; Endogenous retroviruses; HERV-Fc1; TRIM; BST2; Genetic association
We examined the clinical value of two serum markers of low-grade inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP) and receptor of advanced glycation products (RAGE), as prognostic indices for cognitive decline.
Patients with cognitive impairment (n = 377) and controls (n = 66) were examined by blood biochemistry tests, including ELISAs of serum CRP and RAGE, the Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and STEAM 1H-MRS of the left hippocampus and thalamus.
Compared to the control group, the cognitive impairment group was older (63.10 ± 9.70 years vs. 55.09 ± 10.77 years, P = 0.000) and had fewer years of formal education (9.01 ± 4.01 vs. 12.94 ± 3.0, P = 0.000). There were no significant differences in the frequencies of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia between groups. Serum CRP and RAGE were higher in the cognitive impairment group (CRP: 2.08 mg/L, range 1.07 − 3.36 mg/L vs. 0.21 mg/L, range 0.18 − 0.42 mg/L; RAGE: 4.01, range 2.49 − 5.71, vs. 2.28, range 1.84 − 3.03; P < 0.05 for both). In patients with cognitive impairment, there were negative correlations between cognitive function (as measured by MMSE and MoCA) and both CRP and RAGE levels (P < 0.05). Patients over 55 years exhibited a positive correlation between CRP and myo-inositol peak area in the left hippocampus (P < 0.05), while there was no relationship between RAGE and any metabolite (P > 0.05). Multiple linear regression revealed that CRP was influenced by hypertension (P = 0.026) and cognitive impairment (P = 0.042).
Chronic low-grade inflammation is present in patients with cognitive impairment. Serum CRP, RAGE, and left hippocampal myo-inositol may provide prognostic information on cognitive decline.
Retired athletes with a history of sports concussions experience cognitive and motor declines with aging, and the risk of severe neurodegenerative conditions is magnified in this population. The present study investigated the effects of aging on motor system metabolism and function in former university-level athletes who sustained their last concussion several decades prior to testing.
To test the hypothesis that age and remote concussions induce functional as well as metabolic alterations of the motor system, we used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect metabolic abnormalities in the primary motor cortex and the serial reaction time task (SRTT) to evaluate motor learning.
Our results indicate that motor learning is significantly reduced in former concussed athletes relative to controls. In addition, glutamate/H2O ratio in M1 was disproportionately reduced in concussed athletes with advancing age and was found to strongly correlate with motor learning impairments.
Findings from this study provide evidence that the acquisition of a repeated motor sequence is compromised in the aging concussed brain and that its physiological underpinnings could implicate disproportionate reductions of M1 glutamate concentrations with advancing age.
Motor learning; Retired athletes; Concussion; Motor cortex; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a common and dangerous disease with an unfavorable prognosis. Patients with poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage (Hunt & Hess Grades 4–5) are unconscious on admission. Because of the high mortality and disability rate associated with poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage, it is often treated conservatively. Timing of surgery for poor-grade aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage is still controversial, therefore this study aims to identify the optimal time to operate on patients admitted in poor clinical condition.
Ninety-nine patients meeting the inclusion criteria were randomly assigned into three treatment groups. The early surgery group received operation within 3 days after onset of subarachnoid hemorrhage (day of SAH = day 1); the intermediate surgery group received operation from days 4 to 7, and surgery was performed on the late surgery group after day 7. Follow-up was performed 1, 3, and 6 months after aneurysm clipping. Primary indicators of outcome included the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and the Modified Rankin Scale, while secondary indicators of outcome were assessed using the Barthel Index and mortality.
This is the first prospective, single-center, observer-blinded, randomized controlled trial to elucidate optimal timing for surgery in poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage patients. The results of this study will be used to direct decisions of surgical intervention in poor-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage, thus improving clinical outcomes for patients.
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR-TRC-12002917
Timing of surgery; Poor-grade; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; ICP; Prognosis
This work aims to add evidence and provide an update on the classification and diagnosis of monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease (MIDD) and primary central nervous system low-grade lymphomas. MIDD is characterized by the deposition of light and heavy chain proteins. Depending on the spatial arrangement of the secreted proteins, light chain-derived amyloidosis (AL) can be distinguished from non-amyloid light chain deposition disease (LCDD). We present a case of an extremely rare tumoral presentation of LCDD (aggregoma) and review the 3 previously published LCDD cases and discuss their presentation with respect to AL.
A 61-year-old woman presented with a 3½-year history of neurologic symptoms due to a progressive white matter lesion of the left subcortical parieto-insular lobe and basal ganglia. 2 former stereotactic biopsies conducted at different hospitals revealed no evidence of malignancy or inflammation; thus, no therapy had been initiated. After performing physiological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the tumor was removed under intraoperative monitoring at our department. Histological analysis revealed large amorphous deposits and small islands of lymphoid cells.
LCCD is a very rare and obscure manifestation of primary central nervous system low-grade lymphomas that can be easily misdiagnosed by stereotactic biopsy sampling. If stereotactic biopsy does not reveal a definite result, a “wait-and-see” strategy can delay possible therapy for this disease. The impact of surgical removal, radiotherapy and chemotherapy in LCDD obviously remains controversial because of the low number of relevant cases.
Aggregoma; Light chain deposition disease; Lymphoma; Monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease; Neurooncology; Primary central nervous system lymphoma; Stereotaxic surgery
Neuroprotective strategies in ischemic stroke are an important challenge in clinical and experimental research as an adjunct to reperfusion therapy that may reduce neurologic injury and improve outcome. The neuroprotective properties of levosimendan in traumatic brain injury in vitro, transient global brain ischemia and focal spinal cord ischemia suggest the potential for similar effects in transient brain ischemia.
Transient brain ischemia was induced for 60 min by intraluminal occlusion of the middle cerebral artery in 40 male Wistar rats under general anesthesia with s-ketamine and xylazine and with continuous monitoring of their blood pressure and cerebral perfusion. Five minutes before inducing reperfusion, a levosimendan bolus (24 μg kg -1) was administered over a 20 minute period. Infarct size, brain swelling, neurological function and the expression of inflammatory markers were quantified 24 hours after reperfusion.
Although levosimendan limited the infarct size and brain swelling by 40% and 53%, respectively, no effect on neurological outcome or mortality could be demonstrated. Upregulation of tumor necrosis factor α and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 was significantly impeded. Cerebral blood flow during reperfusion was significantly reduced as a consequence of sustained autoregulation.
Levosimendan demonstrated significant neuroprotective properties in a rat model of transient brain ischemia by reducing reperfusion injury.
Experimental stroke; Postconditioning; Levosimendan; Cerebral reperfusion injury
TG6, a brain expressed transglutaminase, is implicated in the neurological manifestations of celiac disease (CD). We hypothesized that earlier brain injury due to head trauma may be more common in patients with CD, potentially through trauma-induced TG6 leading to interaction with TG2.
Through biopsy reports from all 28 pathology departments in Sweden we identified 29,096 individuals with CD (in this study defined as villous atrophy). We then examined the risk of earlier head trauma in CD compared to the risk in 144,522 controls matched for age, sex, county and calendar year. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using conditional logistic regression.
981 (3.4%) individuals with CD and 4,449 (3.1%) controls had a record of earlier head trauma. Individuals with head trauma were hence at a 1.10-fold increased risk of future CD (95% CI = 1.02-1.17). ORs were independent of sex or age at CD. The highest risk of future CD was seen during the first year after trauma. There was no association between severity of trauma and risk of developing CD.
This study found a very small excess risk for future CD in individuals with an earlier head trauma.
Autoimmunity; Brain; Coeliac; Inflammation; Trauma
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a devastating inflammatory disorder of the optic nerves and spinal cord characterized by frequently recurring exacerbations of humoral inflammation. NMO is associated with the highly specific NMO-IgG biomarker, an antibody that binds the aquaporin-4 water channel. Aquaporin-4 is present on glial endfeet in the central nervous system (CNS). In humans, the NMO-IgG portends more frequent exacerbations and a worse long-term clinical outcome.
We tested the longer-term outcome of mice with EAE injected with NMO-IgG and followed them for 60 days. Clinical exams and pathology of the spinal cord and optic nerves were compared to mice that received control human IgG.
Passively transferred human NMO-IgG leads to more severe neurology disability over two months after onset of disease. Clinical worsening is associated with an increased concentration of large demyelinating lesions primarily to subpial AQP4-rich regions of the spinal cord.
NMO-IgG is pathogenic in the context of EAE in mice.
Neuromyelitis optica; Aquaporin-4; NMO-IgG; Astrocytes; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
The risk of falling is associated with cognitive dysfunction. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) exhibit an accelerated reduction of brain volume, and face an increased risk of falling. The current study examined the relationship between baseline physical performance, baseline gray matter volume and falls during a 12-month follow-up period among community-dwelling older adults with MCI.
Forty-two older adults with MCI (75.6 years, 43% women) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging and baseline physical performance assessment, including knee-extension strength, one-legged standing time, and walking speed with normal pace. ‘Fallers’ were defined as people who had one or more falls during the 12-month follow-up period.
Of the 42 participants, 26.2% (n = 11) experienced at least one fall during the 12-month follow-up period. Fallers exhibited slower walking speed and shorter one-legged standing time compared with non-fallers (both p < .01). One-legged standing time (sec) (standardized odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.89 [0.81, 0.98], p = .02) was associated with a significantly lower rate of falls during the 12-month follow-up after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and history of falling in the past year at baseline. Voxel-based morphometry was used to examine differences in baseline gray matter volume between fallers and non-fallers, revealing that fallers exhibited a significantly greater reduction in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus.
Poor balance predicts falls over 12 months, and baseline lower gray matter densities in the middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus were associated with falls in older adults with MCI. Maintaining physical function, especially balance, and brain structural changes through many sorts of prevention strategies in the early stage of cognitive decline may contribute to decreasing the risk of falls in older adults with MCI.
It was previously shown that the MTHFR gene polymorphism correlated with an increased risk of migraine, particularly migraine with aura. The substitution of cytosine for thymine at the position 677 of the MTHFR gene leads to formation of the thermolabile form of the protein and development of hyperhomocysteinemia, which increases the probability of migraine. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the replacement of C677T in the gene MTHFR influenced any particular symptoms of the disease.
We have analyzed clinical and electrophysiological characteristics of 83 patients with migraine (migraine with aura (MA), 19 patients, and migraine without aura (MO), 64 patients, according to the ICHD-II (2003)) taking into account their genotypes of C677T variant of MTHFR.
We have shown that MA was significantly more prevalent among the T-allele carriers (37.2%), as compared to the СС genotype patients (0%), р < 0.0001. Patients with TT genotype were not only more likely to have accompanying symptoms (significant differences were found only for photophobia), but also more sensitive to migraine attack triggers. In RP-VEP test results we observed a trend that the T-allele carriers were presented with the decreased N75/P100 amplitudes and a positive habituation index, as compared to the СС genotype patients.
Thus, according to our data, the MTHFR genotypes are associated with several clinical and electrophysiological characteristics of migraine.
Natalizumab (NTZ) discontinuation leads to multiple sclerosis reactivation.
The objective of this study is to compare disease activity in MS patients who continued on NTZ treatment to those who were switched to subcutaneous interferon 1b (IFNB) treatment.
1-year randomized, rater-blinded, parallel-group, pilot study (ClinicalTrial.gov ID: NCT01144052). Relapsing remitting MS patients on NTZ for ≥12 months who had been free of disease activity on this therapy (no relapses and disability progression for ≥6 months, no gadolinium-enhancing lesions on baseline MRI) were randomized to NTZ or IFNB. Primary endpoint was time to first on-study relapse. Additional clinical, MRI and safety parameters were assessed. Analysis was based on intention to treat.
19 patients (NTZ n=10; IFNB n=9) with similar baseline characteristics were included. 78% of IFNB treated patients remained relapse free (NTZ group: 100%), and 25% remained free of new T2 lesions (NTZ group: 62.5%). While time to first on-study relapse was not significantly different between groups (p=0.125), many secondary clinical and radiological endpoints (number of relapses, proportion of relapse free patients, number of new T2 lesions) showed a trend, or were significant (new T2 lesions at month 6) in favoring NTZ.
De-escalation therapy from NTZ to IFNB over 1 year was associated with some clinical and radiological disease recurrence. Overall no major safety concerns were observed.
Multiple sclerosis; Natalizumab; Interferon beta1b; De-escalation; Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
Sjögren’s syndrome can involve the central nervous system; however, spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage has rarely been reported as the initial manifestation.
We report a 39-year-old woman with primary Sjögren’s syndrome presenting with intracranial hemorrhage. The diagnosis of primary Sjögren’s syndrome was based on the presence of ocular dryness, salivary gland secretory and excretory dysfunction confirmed with dynamic tracer emission CT, and positive anti-Sjögren’s syndrome A and anti-Sjögren’s syndrome B antibodies.
Primary Sjögren’s syndrome can present with variable central nervous system signs, which may precede the classic sicca symptoms. Therefore, Sjögren’s syndrome-associated indicators should be investigated in patients without the common risk factors for stroke who present with spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage.
Sjögren’s syndrome; Vasculitis; Intracranial hemorrhage; Internal carotid artery; Moyamoya disease; Anti-Sjögren’s syndrome A antibody; Anti-Sjögren’s syndrome B antibody
Episodic cluster headache (ECH) is a primary headache disorder that severely impairs patient’s quality of life. First-line therapy in the initiation of a prophylactic treatment is verapamil. Due to its delayed onset of efficacy and the necessary slow titration of dosage for tolerability reasons prednisone is frequently added by clinicians to the initial prophylactic treatment of a cluster episode. This treatment strategy is thought to effectively reduce the number and intensity of cluster attacks in the beginning of a cluster episode (before verapamil is effective). This study will assess the efficacy and safety of oral prednisone as an add-on therapy to verapamil and compare it to a monotherapy with verapamil in the initial prophylactic treatment of a cluster episode.
Methods and design
PredCH is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with parallel study arms. Eligible patients with episodic cluster headache will be randomized to a treatment intervention with prednisone or a placebo arm. The multi-center trial will be conducted in eight German headache clinics that specialize in the treatment of ECH.
PredCH is designed to assess whether oral prednisone added to first-line agent verapamil helps reduce the number and intensity of cluster attacks in the beginning of a cluster episode as compared to monotherapy with verapamil.
German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00004716
Episodic cluster headache; Prednisone; Verapamil; Prophylactic treatment; Clinical trial; Prospective study; Study protocol
Status epilepticus (SE) is a serious neurological condition and requires prompt treatment. Sodium valproate has been used to treat SE successfully but its role as the first-line antiepileptic drug (AED) is still controversial. This study evaluated the efficacy of intravenous sodium valproate to determine if it is non-inferior to intravenous phenytoin in SE treatment.
Patients diagnosed as SE during 2003–2010 who were of an age of more than 15 years and received either intravenous sodium valproate or intravenous phenytoin as the first-line treatment were enrolled. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of SE were recorded and analyzed. The differences of outcomes between sodium valproate and phenytoin group were determined by descriptive statistics.
During the study period, there were 37 and 17 SE patients who received intravenous phenytoin and intravenous sodium valproate as the first-line treatment, respectively. All patients received diazepam 10 mg intravenously as a rescue medication before starting the antiepileptic agents if uncontrolled except one patient in the sodium valproate group. There were no significant differences between the phenytoin and sodium valproate groups in all outcome variables including numbers of patients with clinically-controlled seizures, non-dependent patients, time to seizure control, and duration of hospitalization, and death. No serious cardiovasculars event such as hypotension occurred in either group.
Intravenous sodium valproate is non-inferior to intravenous phenytoin as the first-line treatment in SE with no significant cardiovascular compromises.
Phenytoin; Sodium valproate; Efficacy; Status epilepticus; Comparison
We investigated the association between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and cognitive impairment (CI) in multiple sclerosis (MS). Moreover, we evaluated the association between CCSVI and other frequent self-reported MS symptoms.
We looked at the presence of CI in incident MS patients with CCVSI in a population-based cohort of Catania, Italy. All subjects were group-matched by age, sex, disease duration and EDSS score with MS patients without CCSVI, serving as controls. CI was assessed with the Brief Repeatable Battery (BRB) and the Stroop Test (ST) and it was defined by the presence of at least three impaired tests. Fatigue and depressive symptoms were assessed with Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale (HDRS), respectively. Bladder and sexual symptoms were assessed with the respective items of the Italian version of Guy's Neurological Disability Scale (GNDS). Quality of life was evaluated with Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 Instrument (MSQOL-54).
Out of 61 MS patients enrolled in the study, 27 were CCSVI positive and 34 were CCSVI negative. Of them, 43 were women (70.5%); the mean age was 43.9 ± 11.8 years; the mean disease duration was 159.7 ± 113.7 months; mean EDSS was 3.0 ± 2.6. Of them, 36 (59.0%) were classified relapsing-remitting (RR), 12 (19.7%) secondary progressive (SP), seven (11.5%) primary progressive (PP) and six (9.3%) Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS). Overall, CI was detected in 29/61 (47.5%) MS patients; particularly 13/27 (48.1%) in the CCSVI positive group and 16/34 (47.0%) in the CCSVI negative group. Presence of CCSVI was not significantly associated with the presence of CI (OR 1.04; 95% CI 0.37-2.87; p-value = 0.9). Not significant differences were found between the two groups regarding the other MS symptoms investigated.
Our findings suggest a lack of association between CCSVI and CI in MS patients. Fatigue, depressive, bladder/sexual symptoms and self-reported quality of life are not associated with CCSVI.
Nervous system complications of primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in adults are rare, but may occur with encephalitis, meningitis, myelitis, cranial and peripheral neuropathies, or radiculitis.
We describe an immune competent adult with a primary EBV infection complicated by lumbosacral polyradiculitis with pure radicular pain. Prior to the onset of radicular pain the 35-year-old woman had been suffering from infectious mononucleosis misdiagnosed for streptococcal tonsillitis. The diagnosis of primary EBV infection associated polyradiculitis was proven by serology and PCR in serum and CSF. Under initially started empiric therapy with intravenous acyclovir and analgesics the patient completely recovered within a few days.
This case report highlights that EBV should be taken into consideration in the diagnostic work up of radicular pain syndromes, even in immune competent adults. There is no approved causal therapy for EBV infections. In accordance with our case, observations based on a few patients with EBV and nervous system involvement suggest, that acyclovir treatment might be associated a with better course. However, prospective randomized controlled trials addressing the question of the effectiveness of acyclovir in patients with primary EBV infection and neurological complications are lacking.
Primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection; Infectious mononucleosis; Polyradiculitis
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is characterized by acute onset and progressive course, and is usually associated with a good prognosis. However, there are forms of poor prognosis, needing ventilatory support and major deficits at discharge. With this study we try to identify the factors associated with a worse outcome.
106 cases of GBS admitted in our hospital between years 2000–2010 were reviewed. Epidemiological, clinical, therapeutical and evolutionary data were collected.
At admission 45% had severe deficits, percentage which improves throughout the evolution of the illness, with full recovery or minor deficits in the 87% of patients at the first year review. Ages greater than 55 years, severity at admission (p < 0.001), injured cranial nerves (p = 0.008) and the needing of ventilator support (p = 0.003) were associated with greater sequels at the discharge and at the posterior reviews in the following months. 17% required mechanical ventilation (MV). Values < 250 L/min in the Peak Flow-test are associated with an increased likelihood of requiring MV (p < 0.001).
Older age, severe deficits at onset, injured cranial nerves, requiring MV, and axonal lesion patterns in the NCS were demonstrated as poor prognostic factors. Peak Flow-test is a useful predictive factor of respiratory failure by its easy management.
Guillain-Barre; Natural history; Prognostic factors; Peak flow
The etiology of transient monocular blindness (TMB) in patients without carotid stenosis has been linked to ocular venous hypertension, for their increased retrobulbar vascular resistance, sustained retinal venule dilatation and higher frequency of jugular venous reflux (JVR). This study aimed to elucidate whether there are anatomical abnormalities at internal jugular vein (IJV) in TMB patients that would contribute to impaired cerebral venous drainage and consequent ocular venous hypertension.
Contrast-enhanced axial T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in 23 TMB patients who had no carotid stenosis and 23 age- and sex-matched controls. The veins were assessed at the upper IJV (at C1–3 level) and the middle IJV (at C3–5 level). Grading of IJV compression/stenosis was determined bilaterally as follows: 0 = normal round or ovoid appearance; 1 = mild flattening; 2 = moderate flattening; and 3 = severe flattening or not visualized.
There was significantly more moderate or severe IJV compression/stenosis in the TMB patients at the left upper IJV level and the bilateral middle IJV level. Defining venous compression/stenosis scores ≥ 2 as a significant cerebral venous outflow impairment, TMB patients were found to have higher frequency of significant venous outflow impairment at the upper IJV level (56.5% vs. 8.7%, p = 0.0005) and the middle IJV level (69.6% vs. 21.7%, p=0.0011).
TMB Patients with the absence of carotid stenosis had higher frequency and greater severity of IJV compression/stenosis which could impair cerebral venous outflow. Our results provide evidence supporting that the cerebral venous outflow abnormality is one of the etiologies of TMB.
Transient monocular blindness; Internal jugular vein; Venous outflow abnormalities; Jugular venous reflux; Venous hypertension; Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency
Multiple sclerosis (MS) has undergone a significant increase in incidence in the industrialised nations over the last 130 years. Changing environmental factors, possibly infections or a lack of or altered timing of them, determine the prevalence of the disease. Although a plethora of aetiological factors, clearly evident in a group of children with MS, appear relevant, there may nevertheless be a single factor essential for the aetiopathogenesis and clinical manifestation of MS.
Description and discussion
This hitherto unknown factor is postulated to be a ‘melanoma-like neuromelanin’ (MLN) dependent on the activation of a gene for syncytin-1. An involvement of MLN could explain the diverse findings in the epidemiology, immunology and pathology of MS, requiring a consideration of a complex infectious background, the human leucocyte antigens, as well as cosmic radiation causing geomagnetic disturbances, vitamin D deficiency, smoking, and lower levels of uric acid.
In principle, the MLN-based concept is a unifying one, capable of explaining a number of characteristics of the disease. To date, MLN has not been addressed in studies on MS and future work will need to be done on human patients, as there is little or no neuromelanin (the precursor of MLN) in the animals used as experimental models in the study of MS.
Multiple sclerosis; Risk factors; Latency; Melanoma; Neuro-melanin; Epstein-Barr virus; Human endogenous retrovirus; Vitamin D; Geomagnetic disturbances
Regaining independent ambulation is the top priority for individuals recovering from stroke. Thus, physical rehabilitation post-stroke should focus on improving walking function and endurance. However, the amount of walking completed by individuals with stroke attending rehabilitation is far below that required for independent community ambulation. There has been increased interest in accelerometer-based monitoring of walking post-stroke. Walking monitoring could be integrated within the goal-setting process for those with ambulation goals in rehabilitation. The feedback from these devices can be downloaded to a computer to produce reports. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of accelerometer-based feedback of daily walking activity during rehabilitation on the frequency and duration of walking post-stroke.
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: feedback or no feedback. Participants will wear accelerometers daily during in- and out-patient rehabilitation and, for participants in the feedback group, the participants’ treating physiotherapist will receive regular reports of walking activity. The primary outcome measures are the amount of daily walking completed, as measured using the accelerometers, and spatio-temporal characteristics of walking (e.g. walking speed). We will also examine goal attainment, satisfaction with progress towards goals, stroke self-efficacy, and community-integration.
Increased walking activity during rehabilitation is expected to improve walking function and community re-integration following discharge. In addition, a focus on altering walking behaviour within the rehabilitation setting may lead to altered behaviour and increased activity patterns after discharge.
Stroke; Rehabilitation; Walking; Physical activity; Goal setting; Technology