Neurologist

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Some New Medical Findings

Anesthesia and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in children

PURPOSE: Anesthesia for pediatric patients undergoing surgery where intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) is performed is based on an understanding of the anesthetic influence on the neural pathways involved and the physiology that supplies nutrients to the neural systems. Anesthesia in pediatric patients may be different than in adults due to the specific anesthesia considerations in children, notably the propofol infusion syndrome (PRIS) and the need to monitor immature neural pathways. This review was done to determine if the anesthesia protocols used were different than those used in adults. METHODS: After reviewing the implications of anesthetic action, a survey of pediatric anesthesia practitioners in 40 North American centers was conducted to determine the anesthesia protocols used in pediatric surgery with IONM and if these were specifically modified over concerns about PRIS. RESULTS: Twenty-five centers responded with 35 different protocols used by practitioners. These protocols are similar to protocols used in adult patients. Although no centers specifically avoided propofol in all patients, several strategies were used to reduce the dosage, avoid its use in selected patients, or monitor for the onset of the syndrome. CONCLUSION: Anesthesia for pediatric patients undergoing surgery where IONM is being performed is consistent with the practice and principles of anesthesia for adults. Although PRIS has not caused major alterations in most patients, concern has modified the practice of some anesthesiologists.

Sodium valproate and the fetus: a case study and review of the literature:

Sodium valproate is a teratogen responsible for a wide range of abnormalities, including neural tube defects. It has traditionally been prescribed for epilepsy, but is increasingly used for such psychiatric conditions as bipolar disease. Women of childbearing age taking valproate should be warned of its teratogenicity and advised to plan pregnancies, take a higher dose of folate, discuss reducing the dose of valproate or changing the medication with their physician, and have antenatal screening. After birth, the infant should be examined for a wide range of reported abnormalities. Neurodevelopmental assessment should continue throughout childhood. We present a case that illustrates the need for better education of mothers taking valproate and the medical staff prescribing it.

Efficacy of dexmethylphenidate for the treatment of fatigue after cancer chemotherapy: a randomized clinical trial:

Cancer and its treatment can induce subjective and objective evidence of diminished functional capacity encompassing physical fatigue and cognitive impairment. Dexmethylphenidate (D-MPH; the D-isomer of methylphenidate) was evaluated for treatment of chemotherapy-related fatigue and cognitive impairment. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study evaluated the potential therapeutic effect and safety of D-MPH in the treatment of patients with chemotherapy-related fatigue. Change from baseline in the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue Subscale (FACIT-F) total score at Week 8 was the primary outcome measure. One hundred fifty-four patients (predominantly with breast and ovarian cancers) were randomized and treated. Compared with placebo, D-MPH-treated subjects demonstrated a significant improvement in fatigue symptoms at Week 8 in the FACIT-F (P=0.02) and the Clinical Global Impression-Severity scores (P=0.02), without clinically relevant changes in hemoglobin levels. Cognitive function was not significantly improved. There was a higher rate of study drug-related adverse events (AEs) (48 of 76 [63%] vs. 22 of 78 [28%]) and a higher discontinuation rate because of AEs (8 of 76 [11%] vs. 1 of 78 [1.3%]) in D-MPH-treated subjects compared with placebo-treated subjects. The most commonly reported AEs independent of study drug relationship in D-MPH-treated subjects were headache, nausea, and dry mouth, and in placebo-treated subjects were headache, diarrhea, and insomnia. D-MPH produced significant improvement in fatigue in subjects previously treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy. Further studies with D-MPH or other agents to explore treatment response in chemotherapy-associated fatigue should be considered.

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November 28, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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