Neurological Evaluation (neurological + evaluation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Classification of a traumatic brain injury: the Glasgow Coma scale is not enough

Background: Classifying the severity of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) solely by means of the Glasgow Coma scale (GCS) is under scrutiny, because it overlooks other important clinical signs. Clinicians treating patients with acute TBI are well placed to suggest which variables, in addition to the GCS, should concur in a new classification of TBI. Methods: In Italy, acute TBI patients are treated by anaesthetists, and so we asked them, in a questionnaire survey, to rate the weight they give to the GCS and to other clinical variables in their approach to TBI. Because sedation may underestimate GCS scores, we also inquired whether anaesthetists select sedatives that allow drug-free GCS scores. The questionnaire was distributed to 1334 anaesthetists attending courses on neurotrauma; the response rate was 63%. Results: Two thirds of the respondents believe that the definition of severe TBI should include, in addition to GCS scores, pupil reactivity to light and computer tomogram (CT) findings, the variables that guide Italian anaesthetists in TBI management. Most respondents (68.2%) administer sedation which allows prompt neurological evaluation and reliable GCS scoring. A minority of respondents (9.3%) withhold or antagonize sedation, delay tracheal intubation or allow patient,ventilator asynchrony. Conclusions: Italian anaesthetists would welcome a definition of TBI severity that includes CT findings and pupil reactivity in addition to the GCS. [source]

Accuracy of Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scoring in clinical practice

Background: The Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score is used to quantify the severity of illness daily during intensive care. Our aim was to evaluate how accurately SOFA is recorded in clinical practice, and whether this can be improved by a refresher course in scoring rules. Methods: The scores recorded by physicians in a university hospital intensive care unit (ICU) were compared with the gold standard determined by two expert assessors. Data concerning all consecutive patients during two 6-week-long observation periods (baseline and after the refresher course) were compared. Results: SOFA was accurate on 75/158 (48%) patient days at baseline. The cardiovascular, coagulation, liver, and renal component scores showed excellent accuracy (,82%, weighted ,,0.92), while the neurological score showed only moderate (70%, weighted , 0.51) and the respiration score showed good accuracy (75%, weighted , 0.79). After the refresher course, the number of ,2 point errors decreased (P<0.01). Sedation precluded neurological evaluation on 135/311 (43%) days. The accuracy of the assumed neurological scores was lower than those based on timely data: 89/135 (66%, weighted , 0.55) vs. 125/176 (71%, weighted , 0.81) (P<0.01). Conclusion: Only half of the SOFA scores were accurate. In most cases, they were accurate enough to allow the recognition of organ failure and detection of change. The component scores showed good to excellent accuracy, except the neurological score. After the refresher course, the results improved slightly. The moderate accuracy of the neurological score was not amended. A simpler neurological classification tool than the Glasgow Coma Scale is needed in the ICU. [source]

Abstracts of the 8th Meeting of the Italian Peripheral Nerve Study Group: 62

C Briani
Thalidomide seems to be effective in the treatment of cutaneous forms of lupus erythematosus refractory to other therapies. Peripheral neuropathy is the most severe side effect, but the incidence of neuropathy and its relation to thalidomide doses are still unclear. We prospectively monitored 12 patients treated with thalidomide for cutaneous lupus erythematosus in order to estimate the occurrence of side effects, particularly peripheral neuropathy. A total of 12 female patients, median age 38,6 years (range 26,56), with subacute or chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus were considered. The patients were treated with low dose thalidomide (starting dose 100 mg, tapered to 50 mg/day or 50 mg alternative day) for up to 18 months. The average follow-up period was 8,6 months (range 2,18). Prior to, and regularly during treatment patients underwent neurological evaluation and electrophysiological study of at least 8 nerves in the 4 arms (ulnar, median, sural, peroneal nerves). At recruitment, one patient presented a sensory-motor peripheral neuropathy. Of the remaining 11 patients, six did not present electrophysiological evidence of neuropathy, one had a carpal tunnel syndrome and four showed slowing of ulnar nerve velocity at elbow. No patients developed neuropathy neither worsening of electrophysiological parameters during thalidomide treatment. The most common side effect was tremor, always reversible after withdrawing or reducing thalidomide. Paresthesias, somnolence, amenhorrea, constipation were also present. Only one patient had to stop the therapy for the occurrence, 10 days after taking 50 mg of thalidomide, of a severe, stabbing, "zoster-like" thoracic pain, which disappeared upon withdrawal of the drug. Started again on thalidomide, the symptoms reappeared and the patient definitely interrupted the therapy with benefit. All the 11 patients who continued on the therapy presented a significant improvement or remission of the cutaneous alterations. These preliminary data seem to indicate that low dose thalidomide is efficacious and tolerable for cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Peripheral neuropathy seems not to be a major side effect. A longer follow-up and the study of more patients are needed to confirm the results. [source]


Article first published online: 11 MAR 200
D'Avino C., Del Corona A., Bacci A., Calabrese R., Siciliano G. Department of Neuroscience-Clinical Neurology-University of Pisa-Italy Case report. The patient, a 66-year-old man with a 5-year diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, in Sep. 2000 started complaining of language disturbances as rhinolalia. In Jan. 2001, because of generalized fatigue and difficulties in walking, he was hospitalized in Internal Medicine and a diagnosis of diabetic angiopathy and neuropathy was made. Since discharge patient clinical conditions gradually deteriorated and a neurological evaluation showed tongue atrophy, dysarthria, dysphagia, fasciculations in the four limbs, increased deep tendon reflexes with bilateral foot clonus and paraparetic spastic deambulation. He underwent spinal MRI that showed mild arthrosic abnormalities in cervical spinal cord and limb EMG that showed denervation spontaneous activity with neurogenic MUAP modifications, with normal sensory and motor conduction velocity. MEP showed bilateral pyramidal track involvement. A significantly increased anti-sulphatide IgM antibodies titer (1:32,000) in the serum was detected. The diagnosis at discharge was "probable motor neuron disease" and the patient is under riluzole therapy at the moment. Discussion. Anti-sulfatide IgM antibodies are currently associated with several subtypes of peripheral neuropathy. In most cases it is a chronic dysimmune sensory or sensorimotor neuropathy in which electrophysiological and morphological studies are usually con- sistent with a predominant demyelination frequently associated with prominent axonal loss. Although rare, an association between motor neuron disease and IgM anti-sulfatide has been described in a recent paper by Latov and coworkers that reviewed electrophysiologic, morphologic and laboratory data of 25 patients with elevated antisulfatide antibodies. It seems interesting to follow-up the clinical course of the patient, the response to therapy and its correlation to antibodies titer, while the opportunity of high dose IVIg therapy is under discussion at the moment. [source]


E. Scarpini
The elderly are a population at high risk of polyneuropathy because there is a correlation between age and impairment of the peripheral nervous system and because the number of agents that can damage peripheral nerves, including chronic systemic disorders and neurotoxic drugs, increases with age. The Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA), a multicenter project designed to study age-associated diseases, collected data from 8 Italian municipalities. For this study, the definition of peripheral neuropathy by P.J. Dyck (1982) was used. However, only peripheral neuropathies with distal and symmetrical involvement of lower limbs were considered. Diagnosis was articulated in two phases: Phase 1 or screening, administered to all participants. The criteria were: a) self reported diagnosis; b) presence of at least one neurological symptom; and c) presence of at least one positive test at short neurological evaluation. A validation of the screening instruments was performed. Phase 2 or clinical confirmation by a neurologist, based on: a) review of the clinical records; b) a neurological examination; c) a clinical history of the disease; and, d) when available, EMG, blood and spinal fluid examination, and a sural nerve biopsy. Three diagnostic categories were identified: possible, probable and definite DSNLL. The neuropathy was classified as definite only when confirmation by a positive EMG was available. A random sample of 5632 subjects aged 65,84 years was evaluated. A total number of 337 DSNLL were identified (possible, probable, defined). The prevalence is 6.5% (95% C.I. 5.8,7.2) in men and women; the rates by age, geographic area, and clinical severity are described, and the prevalence in the different groups of diabetic patients and non-diabetic subjects is analyzed. The prevalence obtained in our study is slightly lower than that in a similar recent multicentric study (IGPSG, 1995), but the diagnostic criteria were different. Diabetes is the most common associated disorder with the 20.8% of association, followed by toxic/drug exposure (5% of association). [source]

Liver transplantation for Wilson's disease: The burden of neurological and psychiatric disorders

Valentina Medici
A retrospective data analysis on liver transplantation for Wilson's disease (WD) was performed among Italian Liver Transplant Centers. Thirty-seven cases were identified. The main indication for liver transplantation was chronic advanced liver disease in 78% of patients. Mixed hepatic and neuropsychiatric symptoms were recorded in 32.3%. Eight patients presented with fulminant liver failure; 44.8% were on medical treatment. Patient and graft survival at 3 months, 12 months, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years after transplantation were, respectively, 91.8%, 89.1%, 82.9%, 75.6%, and 58.8%, and 85.3%, 83.0%, 77.1%, 70.3%, and 47.2%. Neurological symptoms significantly improved after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), but the survival of patients with mixed hepatic and neuropsychiatric involvement was significantly lower than in patients with liver disease alone (P = 0.04). WD characterized by hepatic involvement alone is a rare but good indication for liver transplantation when specific medical therapy fails. Patients with neuropsychiatric signs have a significantly shorter survival even though liver transplantation has a positive impact on neurological symptoms. In conclusion, a combination of hepatic and neuropsychiatric conditions deserves careful neurological evaluation, which should contraindicate OLT in case of severe neurological impairment. (Liver Transpl 2005;11:1056,1063.) [source]

Phenotypic characterization of DYT13 primary torsion dystonia,

Anna Rita Bentivoglio MD
Abstract We describe the phenotype of DYT13 primary torsion dystonia (PTD) in a family first examined in 1994. A complete neurological evaluation was performed on all available family members: 8 individuals were definitely affected by dystonia. The family was re-evaluated in March 2000: at that time, 3 more individuals had developed symptoms of dystonia. Inheritance of PTD was autosomal dominant, with affected individuals spanning three consecutive generations and male-to-male transmission. Age at onset ranged from 5 to 43 years. Onset occurred either in the craniocervical region or in upper limbs. Progression was mild, and the disease course was benign in most affected individuals; generalization occurred only in 2 cases. We did not find anticipation of age at onset or of disease severity through generations. Most subjects presented with jerky, myoclonic-like dystonic movements of the neck or shoulders. DYT13-PTD is an autosomal dominant disease, with incomplete penetrance (58%). Clinical presentation and age at onset were more variable than in DYT1-PTD, and the neck was involved in most of those affected. Moreover, the individuals with generalised dystonia were not severely disabled and were able to lead independent lives. To date, this is the only family with DYT13-PTD. 2003 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Severe generalized dystonia due to primary putaminal degeneration: Case report and review of the literature,

Ruth H. Walker MB
Abstract Putaminal lesions of a variety of etiologies may cause secondary dystonia. We report on a case of primary putaminal degeneration as a cause of severe childhood-onset generalized dystonia and review the literature of the pathology of dystonia. A 44-year-old patient with severe generalized childhood-onset dystonia and macrocephaly underwent neurological evaluation and neuropathological examination. Neurological examination was normal apart from dystonia and signs referable to prior cryothalamotomy. Workup for metabolic and genetic causes of dystonia was negative. Neuroimaging showed severe bilateral putaminal degeneration, which subsequently correlated with the neuropathological findings of gliosis, spongiform degeneration, and cavitation. The substantia nigra pars compacta contained a normal number of neurons but decreased tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity. There were no histopathological markers of other metabolic or degenerative diseases. 2002 Movement Disorder Society. [source]

Central nervous system-related permanent consequences in patients with Langerhans cell histiocytosis,

Edda Mittheisz MD
Abstract Background Permanent consequences in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) are irreversible late sequelae related to the disease that may severely impair the quality of life of survivors. The frequency and pattern of permanent consequences affecting the central nervous system (CNS) remains to be determined. Procedure In this single center study, 25 LCH patients observed for a median time of 10 years 3 months underwent a uniform thorough follow-up program including neuropsychological testing and electrophysiological evaluation. Results Overall permanent consequences were seen in 9 of 25 patients. Intracranial abnormalities were the most frequent including diabetes insipidus (DI) in seven patients, anterior pituitary deficiencies in five patients, and neurodegenerative CNS disease in five patients. No patient had overt neurological symptoms upon neurological evaluation, but psychological testing revealed subtle deficits in short-term auditory memory (STAM) in 14 patients. Brain stem evoked potentials showed abnormalities in four of nine tested patients, all of these four had neurodegeneration on MRI. Conclusion Psychoneuroendocrine sequelae were found in an unexpectedly high number of patients in this single center study. Long-term follow-up focusing on such sequelae are important in LCH survivors, in order to detect early deficits, to monitor the evolution of the disease, and to provide specific support. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2007;48:50,56. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Neurological examination of cortical function deficits

O. B. Tysnes
Human cortical functions have been elucidated by studies of deficits in traumatic and vascular brain damage, outcomes after elective neurosurgical procedures, studies in primates and in more recent years by imaging techniques. Cortical functions are well-defined for primary cortical areas like motor, sensory and visual functions. More complex cortical functions like language and to some degree memory are also well clarified. The associative cortical areas are more difficult to study as functions are integrated to and modulate primary cortical functions. Nevertheless, the structural basis for symptoms like neglect, apraxia and agnosia has been well established. Recent data from functional imaging indicate that large and diverse areas of the cerebral cortex are involved in planning motor tasks or coding (memory). This review focuses on the clinical neurological evaluation of cortical function deficits. [source]

Postprocedure Intravenous Eptifibatide Following Intra-Arterial Reteplase in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke

Adnan I. Qureshi MD
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Early use of intravenous platelet glycoprotein IIB/IIIA antagonists after intra-arterial (IA) thrombolysis may reduce the risk of reocclusion and microvascular compromise. METHODS We performed a retrospective study to determine the in-hospital outcomes using serial neurological evaluations and imaging among patients treated with intravenous eptifibatide administered as a 135 microg/kg single-dose bolus, followed by 0.5 microg/kg/min infusions for 20 to 24 hours following treatment with IA reteplase. RESULTS Twenty patients were treated (mean age standard deviation, 68.4 14.5 years; median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score was 17). The dose of reteplase ranged from 0.5 to 4 units. Eleven patients demonstrated early neurological improvement, defined as a decline of ,4 points on the 24 hours NIHSS score compared with initial NIHSS score; neurological deterioration, defined as an increase of ,4 points on the 24 hours NIHSS score as compared with initial NIHSS score, was observed in one patient. Two asymptomatic intracerebral hemorrhages were observed while no symptomatic hemorrhages were observed on serial computed tomographic scans. CONCLUSIONS The use of intravenous eptifibatide within 24 hours in selected patients after IA thrombolysis is feasible and safe. Further studies are required to determine the benefit of early use of intravenous eptifibatide following thrombolysis. [source]

Criteria for Pacemaker Explant in Patients Without a Precise Indication for Pacemaker Implantation

MARTINELLI, M., et al.: Criteria for Pacemaker Explant in Patients Without a Precise Indication for Pacemaker Implantation. Unnecessary pacemaker implantation may cause significant social and psychological consequences, the inconvenience of periodic office visits, and the expense of pulse generator replacement. Establishing adequate criteria for explanting pacemakers is crucial and has not yet been described. This study presents the results of a study protocol for explanting the pacemaker in patients without a clear indication for pacemaker implantation. Seventy pacemaker users without a clear reason for the implantation were included in the study conducted from August 1986 to November 1998 and were prospectively followed. The investigation consisted of clinical and neurological evaluations, echocardiogram, exercise testing, and tilt table testing. When these tests were negative, the pulse generator energy and stimulation rates were reprogrammed to the lowest values. Periodic Holter monitoring was conducted during follow-up. When asymptomatic for 1 year, patients underwent an electrophysiological evaluation of sinus and atrioventricular junction function and ventricular vulnerability. When the electrophysiological study was negative, pacemaker explantation was performed. Of the 70 patients, 35 had their pacemaker explanted; 3 were excluded due to a positive tilt table test and electrophysiological study, and 3 are waiting for pacemaker explantation. Mean follow-up after pacemaker explantation was 30.3 months, and all patients remained asymptomatic, except for one patient who died of a noncardiac cause. Critical analysis of pacemaker users without a well-established indication is justified because it may allow pacemaker explant in a significant proportion of these patients, and it may bring considerable social, economic, and psychological benefits. [source]

Tau haplotype influences cerebral perfusion pattern in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and related disorders

B. Borroni
Objective,,, The modulating factors on phenotypic expression of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) remain still unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether tau genetic variability modulates the brain functional and the clinical phenotypic expression of FTLD. Materials and methods,,, Clinical and neurological evaluations, a standardized neuropsychological assessments as well as a brain single photon emission tomography perfusion imaging studies were performed in 48 FTLD patients. Cerebral perfusion patterns were analysed according to H1 or H2 tau haplotypes by statistical parametric mapping and principal component analysis. Results,,, Two different patterns of cerebral dysfunction characterized the haplotypes, as hypoperfusion of frontal medial and cingulated cortex in H2-carriers and a prevalent involvement of posterior parietal regions in H1-carriers. Further, a significant increase of cerebrospinal fluid total tau and phospho tau levels was found in H2-carriers. Conclusions,,, These findings support a role of tau haplotype in modulating disease phenotype by influencing the hypoperfusion pattern and cerebrospinal fluid tau levels in FTLD. [source]