Neurologist

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Some New Medical Points In Neurology

Serotonin syndrome: report of a fatal case and review of the literature ;

We report here the case of a patient with fluoxetine and selegiline induced serotonin syndrome, which presented as encephalopathy, generalized myoclonias, fever, stiffness and sweating, complicated with acute renal failure, rhabdomyolysis and disseminated intravascular coagulation findings. The patient died 6 days after admission. This syndrome is discussed, with an analysis of its causes, pathophysiology and therapy. A special emphasis is placed on the clinical issues and differential diagnosis with the malignant neuroleptic syndrome and other clinical entities with which it could be mistaken. General recommendations are provided to avoid this poorly characterized syndrome that, as in our patient, may have a fatal outcome

Bilateral stroke following pituitary apoplexy

Pituitary apoplexy followed by cerebral infarction is rare. We report a 59-year-old male with a known pituitary macroadenoma who was admitted to our emergency department for treatment of an acute myocardial infarction. He underwent coronary angioplasty and was subsequently treated with aspirin, clopidogrel and full-dose enoxaparin. He developed pituitary apoplexy with bilateral compression of both internal carotid arteries, and infarction of both anterior and middle hemispheres; consequently, he died. This patient illustrates the difficulties of administering aggressive anticoagulative and antiplatelet therapy to patients who have a known pituitary adenoma.

Effectiveness of Donepezil in Reducing Clinical Worsening in Patients with Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease;

Background: Therapeutic endpoints based on reduced clinical worsening represent clinically relevant and realistic goals for patients suffering from progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: Data from 906 patients (388 receiving placebo; 518 receiving donepezil) with mild-to-moderate AD [Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score 10-27] were pooled from 3 randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Clinical worsening was defined as decline in (1) cognition (MMSE), (2) cognition and global ratings (Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change plus Caregiver Input/Gottfries-BrÃ¥ne-Steen scale) or (3) cognition, global ratings and function (various functional measures). Results: At week 24, lower percentages of donepezil-treated patients than placebo patients met the criteria for clinical worsening, regardless of the definition. The odds of declining were significantly reduced for donepezil-treated versus placebo patients (p<0.0001; all definitions). Among patients meeting criteria for clinical worsening, mean declines in MMSE scores were greater for placebo than donepezil-treated patients. Conclusion: In this population, donepezil treatment was associated with reduced odds of clinical worsening of AD symptoms. Moreover, patients worsening on donepezil were likely to experience less cognitive decline than expected if left untreated. This suggests that AD patients showing clinical worsening on donepezil may still derive benefits compared with placebo/untreated patients.

Cerebrolysin: a review of its use in dementia ;

Cerebrolysin is a parenterally administered, porcine brain-derived peptide preparation that has pharmacodynamic properties similar to those of endogenous neurotrophic factors. In several randomized, double-blind trials of up to 28 weeks’ duration in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebrolysin was superior to placebo in improving global outcome measures and cognitive ability. A large, randomized comparison of Cerebrolysin, donepezil or combination therapy showed beneficial effects on global measures and cognition for all three treatment groups compared with baseline. Although not as extensively studied in patients with vascular dementia, Cerebrolysin has also shown beneficial effects on global measures and cognition in this patient population. Cerebrolysin was generally well tolerated in clinical trials, with dizziness (or vertigo) being the most frequently reported adverse event. Although further studies with Cerebrolysin, including longer term trials and further exploration of its use in combination with cholinesterase inhibitors, are needed to more clearly determine its place in the management of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, available data suggest that Cerebrolysin is a useful addition to the treatment options available for dementia.

Increased oral nitric oxide in obstructive sleep apnoea;

BACKGROUND: Hypoxia and snoring-related mechanical trauma contribute to airway inflammation in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Increased exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), an airway inflammation marker, has been reported in OSA patients. We propose the measure of NO in the oral cavity (oNO) as marker of oropharyngeal inflammation in OSA. METHODS: We compared oNO and FENO of 39 OSA patients with those of 26 mild asthmatics (ASTHMA), 15 patients with chronic rhinitis or rhinosinusitis (CRS) and 24 healthy subjects. A special device was used for oNO measurement. Apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI), oxygen desaturation index, mean and nadir SaO2 were calculated from the polysomnography. RESULTS: oNO was significantly increased in OSA (104.2 95%CI 80.2-135.5ppb) as compared to ASTHMA (71.9 95%CI 56.3-91.9ppb; p=0.015), CRS (54.4 95%CI 40.2-73.7ppb; p=0.009) and healthy subjects (63.6 95%CI 59-73ppb; p<0.001). oNO was directly related to AHI (r=0.466, p=0.003) and to minutes slept with SaO2<90% (r=0.471, p=0.011) and it was inversely related to nadirSaO2 (r=-0.393, p=0.018). FENO was highest in asthmatics (40.3 95%CI 32.5-50.1ppb) and only slightly elevated in OSA (23.1 95%CI 19,8-28.3ppb) and CRS (22.8 95%CI 16.8-32.5ppb). CONCLUSIONS: The finding that oral NO is increased in OSA and is related to upper airway obstructive episodes and to hypoxemia severity, strengthens the clinical and pathogenic role of oral inflammation in OSA.

Teratogenic effects of antiepileptic medications;

During the last few years epilepsy and pregnancy registries and other large scale observational studies have provided new information on the teratogenic effects of the most frequently used antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The prevalence of major congenital malformations associated with exposure to carbamazepine or lamotrigine appears to be only marginally increased from the expected, while malformation rates with valproate have been reported to be 2 to 4 times higher. Recent studies also suggest that compared with carbamazepine, lamotrigine and phenytoin, exposure to valproate in utero may be associated with poorer postnatal cognitive development. However, adverse outcomes with valproate appear to be dose-related, and doses below 800-1,000 mg/day might not be associated with worse outcome than with other AEDs. Information on the teratogenic potential of other newer generation AEDs than lamotrigine is still insufficient.

Anesthesia prevents auditory perceptual learning;

BACKGROUND:: An auditory perceptual learning paradigm was used to investigate whether implicit memories are formed during general anesthesia. METHODS:: Eighty-seven patients who had an American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status of I-III and were scheduled to undergo an elective surgery with general anesthesia were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group received auditory stimulation during surgery, whereas the other did not. The auditory stimulation consisted of pure tones presented via headphones. The Bispectral Index level was maintained between 40 and 50 during surgery. To assess learning, patients performed an auditory frequency discrimination task after surgery, and comparisons were made between the groups. General anesthesia was induced with thiopental and maintained with a mixture of fentanyl and sevoflurane. RESULTS:: There was no difference in the amount of learning between the two groups (mean +/- SD improvement: stimulated patients 9.2 +/- 11.3 Hz, controls 9.4 +/- 14.1 Hz). There was also no difference in initial thresholds (mean +/- SD initial thresholds: stimulated patients 31.1 +/- 33.4 Hz, controls 28.4 +/- 34.2 Hz). These results suggest that perceptual learning was not induced during anesthesia. No correlation between the bispectral index and the initial level of performance was found (Pearson r = -0.09, P = 0.59). CONCLUSION:: Perceptual learning was not induced by repetitive auditory stimulation during anesthesia. This result may indicate that perceptual learning requires top-down processing, which is suppressed by the anesthetic.

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November 14, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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