Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Neurology Related Abstracts

7 Health Psychology Intervention: Identifying Early Symptoms in Neurological Disorders

Authors: Simon B. N. Thompson


Early indicator of neurological disease has been proposed by the expanded Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis which suggests that yawning is linked to rises in cortisol levels. Cortisol is essential to the regulation of the immune system and pathological yawning is a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). Electromyography activity (EMG) in the jaw muscles typically rises when the muscles are moved – extended or flexed; and yawning has been shown to be highly correlated with cortisol levels in healthy people. It is likely that these elevated cortisol levels are also seen in people with MS. The possible link between EMG in the jaw muscles and rises in saliva cortisol levels during yawning were investigated in a randomized controlled trial of 60 volunteers aged 18-69 years who were exposed to conditions that were designed to elicit the yawning response. Saliva samples were collected at the start and after yawning, or at the end of the presentation of yawning-provoking stimuli, in the absence of a yawn, and EMG data was additionally collected during rest and yawning phases. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Yawning Susceptibility Scale, General Health Questionnaire, demographic, and health details were collected and the following exclusion criteria were adopted: chronic fatigue, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart condition, high blood pressure, hormone replacement therapy, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Significant differences were found between the saliva cortisol samples for the yawners, t (23) = -4.263, p = 0.000, as compared with the non-yawners between rest and post-stimuli, which was non-significant. There were also significant differences between yawners and non-yawners for the EMG potentials with the yawners having higher rest and post-yawning potentials. Significant evidence was found to support the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis suggesting that rises in cortisol levels are associated with the yawning response. Further research is underway to explore the use of cortisol as a potential diagnostic tool as an assist to the early diagnosis of symptoms related to neurological disorders. Bournemouth University Research & Ethics approval granted: JC28/1/13-KA6/9/13. Professional code of conduct, confidentiality, and safety issues have been addressed and approved in the Ethics submission. Trials identification number: ISRCTN61942768.

Keywords: Neurology, cortisol, electromyography, yawning

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6 Restless Leg Syndrome as the Presenting Symptom of Neuroendocrine Tumor

Authors: Mustafa Cam, Nedim Ongun, Ufuk Kutluana


Introduction: Restless LegsSyndrome (RLS) is a common, under-recognized disorder disrupts sleep and diminishes quality of life (1). The most common conditions highly associated with RLS include renalfailure, iron and folic acid deficiency, peripheral neuropathy, pregnancy, celiacdisease, Crohn’sdiseaseandrarelymalignancy (2).Despite a clear relation between low peripheral iron and increased prevalence and severity of RLS, the prevalence and clinical significance of RLS in iron-deficientanemic populations is unknown (2). We report here a case of RLS due to iron deficiency in the setting of neuroendocrinetumor. Report of Case: A 35 year-old man was referred to our clinic with general weakness, weight loss (10 kg in 2 months)and 2-month history of uncomfortable sensations in his legs with urge to move, partially relieved by movement. The symptoms were presented very day, worsening in the evening; the discomfort forced the patient to getup and walk around at night. RLS was severe, with a score of 22 at the International RLS ratingscale. The patient had no past medical history. The patient underwent a complete set of blood analyses and the following ab normal values were found (normal limitswithinbrackets): hemoglobin 9.9 g/dl (14-18), MCV 70 fL (80-94), ferritin 3,5 ng/mL (13-150). Brain and spinemagnetic resonance imaging was normal. The patient consultated with gastroenterology clinic and gastointestinal systemendoscopy was performed for theetiology of the iron deficiency anemia. After the gastricbiopsy, results allowed us to reach the diagnosis of neuroen docrine tumor and the patient referred to oncology clinic. Discussion: The first important consideration from this case report is that the patient was referred to our clinic because of his severe RLS symptoms dramatically reducing his quality of life. However, our clinical study clearly demonstrated that RLS was not the primary disease. Considering the information available for this patient, we believe that the most likely possibility is that RLS was secondary to iron deficiency, a very well-known and established cause of RLS in theliterature (3,4). Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare epithelial neoplasms with neuroendocrine differentiation that most commonly originate in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract (5). NETs vary widely in their clinical presentation; symptoms are often nonspecific and can be mistaken for those of other more common conditions (6). 50% of patients with reported disease stage have either regional or distant metastases at diagnosis (7). Accurate and earlier NET diagnosis is the first step in shortening the time to optimal care and improved outcomes for patients (8). The most important message from this case report is that RLS symptoms can sometimes be thesign of a life-threatening condition. Conclusion: Careful and complete collection of clinical and laboratory data should be carried out in RLS patients. Inparticular, if RLS onset coincides with weight loss and iron deficieny anemia, gastricendos copy should be performed. It is known about that malignancy is a rare etiology in RLS patients and to our knowledge; it is the first case with neuro endocrine tumor presenting with RLS.

Keywords: Neurology, Restless legs syndrome, Sleep, neuroendocrine tumor

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5 A Rare Form of Rapidly Progressive Parkinsonism Associated with Dementia

Authors: Murat Emre, Zeynep Tufekcioglu


Objective: We describe a patient with late onset phenylketonuria which presented with rapidly progressive dementia and parkinsonism that were reversible after management. Background: Phenylketonuria is an autosomal recessive disorder due to mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxlase gene. It normally presents in childhood, in rare cases, however, it may have its onset in adulthood and may mimic other neurological disorders. Case description: A previously normal functioning, 59 year old man was admitted for blurred vision, cognitive impairment and gait difficulty which emerged over the past eight months. In neurological examination he had brisk reflexes, slow gait and left-dominant parkinsonism. Mini-mental state examination score was 25/30, neuropsychological testing revealed a dysexecutive syndrome with constructional apraxia and simultanagnosia. In cranial MRI there were bilateral diffuse hyper-intense lesions in parietal and occipital white matter with no significant atrophy. Electroencephalography showed diffuse slowing with predominance of teta waves. In cerebrospinal fluid examination protein level was slightly elevated (61mg/dL), oligoclonal bands were negative. Electromyography was normal. Routine laboratory examinations for rapidly progressive dementia and parkinsonism were also normal. Serum amino acid levels were determined to explore metabolic leukodystrophies and phenylalanine level was found to be highly elevated (1075 µmol/L) with normal tyrosine (61,20 µmol/L). His cognitive impairment and parkinsonian symptoms improved following three months of phenylalanine restricted diet. Conclusions: Late onset phenylketonuria is a rare, potentially reversible cause of rapidly progressive parkinsonism with dementia. It should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with suspicious features.

Keywords: Neurology, Dementia, Phenylketonuria, rapidly progressive parkinsonism

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4 Concussion: Clinical and Vocational Outcomes from Sport Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Authors: Jack Nash, Chris Simpson, Holly Hurn, Ronel Terblanche, Alan Mistlin


There is an increasing incidence of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) cases throughout sport and with this, a growing interest from governing bodies to ensure these are managed appropriately and player welfare is prioritised. The Berlin consensus statement on concussion in sport recommends a multidisciplinary approach when managing those patients who do not have full resolution of mTBI symptoms. There are as of yet no standardised guideline to follow in the treatment of complex cases mTBI in athletes. The aim of this project was to analyse the outcomes, both clinical and vocational, of all patients admitted to the mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) service at the UK’s Defence Military Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court between 1st June 2008 and 1st February 2017, as a result of a sport induced injury, and evaluate potential predictive indicators of outcome. Patients were identified from a database maintained by the mTBI service. Clinical and occupational outcomes were ascertained from medical and occupational employment records, recorded prospectively, at time of discharge from the mTBI service. Outcomes were graded based on the vocational independence scale (VIS) and clinical documentation at discharge. Predictive indicators including referral time, age at time of injury, previous mental health diagnosis and a financial claim in place at time of entry to service were assessed using logistic regression. 45 Patients were treated for sport-related mTBI during this time frame. Clinically 96% of patients had full resolution of their mTBI symptoms after input from the mTBI service. 51% of patients returned to work at their previous vocational level, 4% had ongoing mTBI symptoms, 22% had ongoing physical rehabilitation needs, 11% required mental health input and 11% required further vestibular rehabilitation. Neither age, time to referral, pre-existing mental health condition nor compensation seeking had a significant impact on either vocational or clinical outcome in this population. The vast majority of patients reviewed in the mTBI clinic had persistent symptoms which could not be managed in primary care. A consultant-led, multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of mTBI has resulted in excellent clinical outcomes in these complex cases. High levels of symptom resolution suggest that this referral and treatment pathway is successful and is a model which could be replicated in other organisations with consultant led input. Further understanding of both predictive and individual factors would allow clinicians to focus treatments on those who are most likely to develop long-term complications following mTBI. A consultant-led, multidisciplinary service ensures a large number of patients will have complete resolution of mTBI symptoms after sport-related mTBI. Further research is now required to ascertain the key predictive indicators of outcome following sport-related mTBI.

Keywords: Sports Injury, Neurology, Rehabilitation, Brain Injury, Concussion

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3 Use of a Symptom Scale Based on Degree of Functional Impairment for Acute Concussion

Authors: Matthew T. McCarthy, Sarah Janse, Natalie M. Pizzimenti, Anthony K. Savino, Brian Crosser, Sean C. Rose


Concussion is diagnosed clinically using a comprehensive history and exam, supported by ancillary testing. Frequently, symptom checklists are used as part of the evaluation of concussion. Existing symptom scales are based on a subjective Likert scale, without relation of symptoms to clinical or functional impairment. This is a retrospective review of 133 patients under age 30 seen in an outpatient neurology practice within 30 days of a probable or definite concussion. Each patient completed 2 symptom checklists at the initial visit – the SCAT-3 symptom evaluation (22 symptoms, 0-6 scale) and a scale based on the degree of clinical impairment for each symptom (22 symptoms, 0-3 scale related to functional impact of the symptom). Final clearance date was determined by the treating physician. 60.9% of patients were male with mean age 15.7 years (SD 2.3). Mean time from concussion to first visit was 6.9 days (SD 6.2), and 101 patients had definite concussions (75.9%), while 32 were diagnosed as probable (24.1%). 94 patients had a known clearance date (70.7%) with mean clearance time of 20.6 days (SD 18.6) and median clearance time of 19 days (95% CI 16-21). Mean total symptom score was 27.2 (SD 22.9) on the SCAT-3 and 14.7 (SD 11.9) for the functional impairment scale. Pearson’s correlation between the two scales was 0.98 (p < 0.001). After adjusting for patient and injury characteristics, an equivalent increase in score on each scale was associated with longer time to clearance (SCAT-3 hazard ratio 0.885, 95%CI 0.835-0.938, p < 0.001; functional impairment scale hazard ratio 0.851, 95%CI 0.802-0.902, p < 0.001). A concussion symptom scale based on degree of functional impairment correlates strongly with the SCAT-3 scale and demonstrates a similar association with time to clearance. By assessing the degree of impact on clinical functioning, this symptom scale reflects a more intuitive approach to rating symptoms and can be used in the management of concussion.

Keywords: Sports, Neurology, symptoms, Concussion, checklist, scale

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2 Challenging Weak Central Coherence: An Exploration of Neurological Evidence from Visual Processing and Linguistic Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Jessica Scher Lisa, Eric Shyman


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction (i.e. deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, nonverbal communicative behaviors, and establishing/maintaining social relationships), as well as by the presence of repetitive behaviors and perseverative areas of interest (i.e. stereotyped or receptive motor movements, use of objects, or speech, rigidity, restricted interests, and hypo or hyperactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment). Additionally, diagnoses of ASD require the presentation of symptoms in the early developmental period, marked impairments in adaptive functioning, and a lack of explanation by general intellectual impairment or global developmental delay (although these conditions may be co-occurring). Over the past several decades, many theories have been developed in an effort to explain the root cause of ASD in terms of atypical central cognitive processes. The field of neuroscience is increasingly finding structural and functional differences between autistic and neurotypical individuals using neuro-imaging technology. One main area this research has focused upon is in visuospatial processing, with specific attention to the notion of ‘weak central coherence’ (WCC). This paper offers an analysis of findings from selected studies in order to explore research that challenges the ‘deficit’ characterization of a weak central coherence theory as opposed to a ‘superiority’ characterization of strong local coherence. The weak central coherence theory has long been both supported and refuted in the ASD literature and has most recently been increasingly challenged by advances in neuroscience. The selected studies lend evidence to the notion of amplified localized perception rather than deficient global perception. In other words, WCC may represent superiority in ‘local processing’ rather than a deficit in global processing. Additionally, the right hemisphere and the specific area of the extrastriate appear to be key in both the visual and lexicosemantic process. Overactivity in the striate region seems to suggest inaccuracy in semantic language, which lends itself to support for the link between the striate region and the atypical organization of the lexicosemantic system in ASD.

Keywords: Neurology, Autism spectrum disorder, visual processing, weak coherence

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1 A Framework for Teaching the Intracranial Pressure Measurement through an Experimental Model

Authors: Christina Klippel, Lucia Pezzi, Silvio Neto, Rafael Bertani, Priscila Mendes, Flavio Machado, Aline Szeliga, Maria Cosendey, Adilson Mariz, Raquel Santos, Lys Bendett, Pedro Velasco, Thalita Rolleigh, Bruna Bellote, Daria Coelho, Bruna Martins, Julia Almeida, Juliana Cerqueira


This project presents a framework for teaching intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP) concepts using a low-cost experimental model in a neurointensive care education program. Data concerning ICP monitoring contribute to the patient's clinical assessment and may dictate the course of action of a health team (nursing, medical staff) and influence decisions to determine the appropriate intervention. This study aims to present a safe method for teaching ICP monitoring to medical students in a Simulation Center. Methodology: Medical school teachers, along with students from the 4th year, built an experimental model for teaching ICP measurement. The model consists of a mannequin's head with a plastic bag inside simulating the cerebral ventricle and an inserted ventricular catheter connected to the ICP monitoring system. The bag simulating the ventricle can also be changed for others containing bloody or infected simulated cerebrospinal fluid. On the mannequin's ear, there is a blue point indicating the right place to set the "zero point" for accurate pressure reading. The educational program includes four steps: 1st - Students receive a script on ICP measurement for reading before training; 2nd - Students watch a video about the subject created in the Simulation Center demonstrating each step of the ICP monitoring and the proper care, such as: correct positioning of the patient, anatomical structures to establish the zero point for ICP measurement and a secure range of ICP; 3rd - Students train the procedure in the model. Teachers help students during training; 4th - Student assessment based on a checklist form. Feedback and correction of wrong actions. Results: Students expressed interest in learning ICP monitoring. Tests concerning the hit rate are still being performed. ICP's final results and video will be shown at the event. Conclusion: The study of intracranial pressure measurement based on an experimental model consists of an effective and controlled method of learning and research, more appropriate for teaching neurointensive care practices. Assessment based on a checklist form helps teachers keep track of student learning progress. This project offers medical students a safe method to develop intensive neurological monitoring skills for clinical assessment of patients with neurological disorders.

Keywords: Simulation, Neurology, Medical Education, intracranial pressure

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