Neurologist

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Some New Medical Points In Neurology

Does platelet administration affect mortality in elderly head-injured patients taking antiplatelet medications?

A significant portion of patients sustaining traumatic brain injury (TBI) take antiplatelet medications (aspirin or clopidogrel), which have been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. In an attempt to alleviate the risk of increased bleeding, platelet transfusion has become standard practice in some institutions. This study was designed to determine if platelet transfusion reduces mortality in patients with TBI on antiplatelet medications. Databases from two Level I trauma centers were reviewed. Patients with TBI 50 years of age or older with documented preinjury use of clopidogrel or aspirin were included in our cohort. Patients who received platelet transfusions were compared with those who did not to assess outcome differences between them. Demographics and other patient characteristics abstracted included Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Scale, hospital length of stay, and warfarin use. Three hundred twenty-eight patients comprised the study group. Of these patients, 166 received platelet transfusion and 162 patients did not. Patients who received platelets had a mortality rate of 17.5 per cent (29 of 166), whereas those who did not receive platelets had a mortality rate of 16.7 per cent (27 of 162) (P = 0.85). Transfusion of platelets in patients with TBI using antiplatelet therapy did not reduce mortality.

Antiepilectic drugs in the control of the impulses disorders:

The disorders classified as control of the impulses; explosive intermittent disorder, pathological gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, pathological gambling, hair pullers, compulsive purchases, skin picking and onychophagia are a heterogeneous set of clinical entities, most of them with little prevalence. Nevertheless, they cause important personal and social dysfunctions and present great comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders. Antipsychotics, antidepressive agents, serotoninergic agonists, naltrexone, beta blockers antiandrogen, lithium and anticonvulsants have been used in their pharmacological treatment. Currently, interest is growing on the use of the antiepileptics because their possible usefulness has been described in these disorders. However, the neurobiological effects are only partially known in some cases. We have reviewed the literature regarding the treatment of these disorders with mood stabilizers, (lithium, carbamazepine, valproate, phenitoin, oxcarbacepin, topiramate, lamotrigin, leviteracetam) and have described those studies on which the current knowledge and evidence are based. The results must be considered as provisional and must be updated in the future, since they are mostly based on case reports, case series or opened clinical trials, their being little knowledge based on double blind clinical trials. Key words:Impulse control disorders. Antiepileptic drug. Explosive intermittent disorder. Pathological gambling. Kleptomania. Pyromania. Hair pullers. Actas Esp Psiquiatr 2009;37(4):205-212.

The Effect of Early Detection of Occult Brain Metastases in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients on Survival and Cause of Death:

PURPOSE: The aim of the study is to evaluate disease-free survival, survival from the detection of brain metastases, overall survival, and cause of death in patients with occult brain metastases (Group I) vs. patients with symptomatic brain metastases (Group II). METHODS AND MATERIALS: In 80 HER2-positive breast cancer patients, treated with trastuzumab and cytostatic agents for metastatic disease, magnetic resonance imaging screening of the brain was performed, and in 29 patients (36%) occult brain metastasis was detected (Group I). Whole-brain radiotherapy was delivered to Group I. This first group was compared with 52 patients who had symptomatic brain metastases (Group II) and was treated the same way, at the same clinic, during the same time period. RESULTS: Median disease-free survival was 17 months in Group I and 19.9 months in Group II (p = 0.58). The median time interval between the dissemination of the disease and the detection of occult or symptomatic brain metastases was 9 and 15 months, respectively (p = 0.11). When the brain metastases were detected, the median survival was 9 and 8.78 months, respectively (p = 0.80). The median overall survival was 53 and 51 months, respectively (p = 0.94). In the group with occult brain metastases (Group I) 16% of patients died because of progression within the brain. In the group with symptomatic brain metastases (Group II) the rate of cerebral death was 48% (p = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Whole-brain radiotherapy of occult brain metastases in HER2-positive breast cancer patients with visceral dissemination produces a three-fold decrease in cerebral deaths but does not prolong survival.

The Spectrum of Abnormal Neurologic Outcomes Subsequent to Term Intrapartum Asphyxia:

The purpose of this study was to describe the spectrum of possible abnormal neurologic outcomes in term infants with intrapartum asphyxia and to identify those clinical factors associated with the later occurrence of cerebral palsy. All children with term intrapartum asphyxia encountered in a single pediatric neurologic practice with at least 2 years of follow-up and an abnormal neurologic outcome were identified. Abnormal outcomes were grouped into those with or without cerebral palsy. A total of 40 children (28 male, 12 female) met study criteria. Of these, 23 developed cerebral palsy; the remaining 17 children developed an abnormal neurologic outcome that did not include cerebral palsy. A more severe grade of neonatal encephalopathy, a higher number of neonatal seizures, the neonatal use of phenytoin, diffuse abnormalities on imaging, and abnormal findings on neurologic examination at neonatal discharge were all significantly (P<0.05) associated with an abnormal outcome that included cerebral palsy. Abnormal neurologic outcomes other than cerebral palsy subsequent to term intrapartum asphyxia may occur. It appears that a more severe grade of apparent initial clinical injury is more likely to result in an outcome featuring cerebral palsy.


Antiepileptics in brain metastases: safety, efficacy and impact on life expectancy:

The aim of the study was to evaluate efficacy, safety and impact on life expectancy of levetiracetam (LEV), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and topiramate (TPM) monotherapy in patients with seizures related to brain metastases. We conducted a prospective observational study on 70 patients with brain metastases. Thirteen patients were excluded because they were in prophylactic therapy with antiepileptics, nine patients did not return to our Center. A total of 48 patients with epilepsy related to brain metastases were enrolled. Patients were treated with LEV, OXC and TPM in monotherapy and followed until their death. Eighteen patients dropped out. Therefore, we followed 30 patients. Mean duration of follow-up was 6.1 months. Upon visiting the patients prior to their death (i.e. last visit preceding the death of the patients), we observed a significant reduction (P<0.001) in the mean monthly seizure frequency; with 19 patients (63.3%) obtaining complete seizure control in the whole population. A significant improvement of seizure frequency was also observed considering each antiepileptic treatment group separately. Median survival time was similar among the three groups of patients and was similar to Class I of prognostic factors of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. Logistic regression showed that systemic treatments did not influence the antiepileptics’ efficacy on seizure control (P = 0.614). In conclusion, regarding the use of newer antiepileptics in patients with seizures related to brain metastases, our data indicate that LEV, OXC and TPM significantly reduce seizure frequency (independently of systemic treatment), produce few side effects and appear not to affect life expectancy.


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December 4, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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