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(1/18) Involuntary weight loss in elderly individuals: assessment and treatment.

CONTEXT: The loss of body weight and fat late in life is associated with premature death and increased risk of disability, even after excluding elderly subjects who have a preexisting disease. Although it is important to recognize that periods of substantially positive or negative energy balance and body weight fluctuation occur as a normal part of life, weight losses greater than 5% over 6 months should be investigated. We can divide the major causes of weight loss in the elderly into 4 categories: social, psychiatric, due to medical conditions, and age-related. The clinical evaluation should include a careful history and physical examination. If these fail to provide clues to the weight loss, simple diagnostic tests are indicated. A period of watchful waiting is preferable to blind pursuit of additional diagnostic testing that may yield few useful data, if the results of these initial tests are normal. The first step in managing patients with weight loss is to identify and treat any specific causative or contributing conditions and to provide nutritional support when indicated. Non-orexigenic drugs have found an established place in the management of protein-energy malnutrition. Early attention to nutrition and prevention of weight loss during periods of acute stress, particularly during hospitalization, may be extremely important, as efforts directed at re-feeding are often unsuccessful. DESIGN: Narrative review.  (+info)

(2/18) An endocrinopathy characterized by dysfunction of the pituitary-adrenal axis and alopecia universalis: supporting the entity of a triple H syndrome.

We demonstrate the rare disorder of triple H syndrome in a 25-year-old man. He was pointed out as having short stature, at -5.9 s.d., and diagnosed as GH deficient at 6 years old. Approximately a year ago, he noticed systematic hair loss. He lost body weight by 7 kg during the last half year. He was admitted to Jichi Medical School Hospital because of unconsciousness. Physical findings showed disturbance of consciousness with Japan Coma Scale I-3. He had emaciation and alopecia universalis. Laboratory findings showed plasma glucose was as low as 1.11 mmol/l. GH and ACTH deficiency with hypoadrenocorticism were clarified. His intelligence was in the low normal range with a WAIS IQ of 70, and anterograde amnesia was suggested in the presence of a little, but not significant, morphological change in the hippocampus on a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Replacement by a physiological dose of hydrocortisone normalized plasma glucose, and restored body weight and growth of hair during the 7 month therapeutic period. The present finding strongly supports a clinical entity of triple H syndrome, including ACTH deficiency, alopecia universalis and anterograde amnesia, and that there may be some variation of the triad among the subjects.  (+info)

(3/18) Rescue of neurodegeneration in Niemann-Pick C mice by a prion-promoter-driven Npc1 cDNA transgene.

Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a neurodegenerative disorder with major visceral complications, including liver disease that can be fatal before onset of neurodegeneration. We have sought to determine the extent to which visceral disease contributes to neurodegeneration by making transgenic mice in which the wild-type NPC1 protein is expressed primarily in the CNS using the prion promoter. When the transgene was introduced into the npc1(-/-) animals neurodegeneration was prevented, a 'normal' lifespan occurred and the sterility of npc1(-/-) mice was corrected. The rescue did not provide complete neurological correction in the CNS as GM2 and GM3 gangliosides were observed to accumulate in some neurons and glia of transgenic animals. Two of three transgenic lines demonstrated some low-level ectopic expression resulting in correction of visceral phenotypes in liver and spleen. Interestingly, the third transgenic line continued to have moderate histocytosis in liver and spleen, yet had no detectable neurodegeneration. Thus, it is primarily the lack of NPC1 in the CNS and not the secondary effects of the visceral involvement that causes the neurological decline in NPC disease. In addition, the expression levels of NPC1 found in the CNS of transgenic animals were much greater than in normal littermates, demonstrating that overexpression of NPC1 is not harmful and allowing possibilities for genetic therapy interventions that utilize overexpression.  (+info)

(4/18) Pathology of domoic acid toxicity in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

Over 100 free-ranging adult California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and one Northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), predominantly adult females, were intoxicated by domoic acid (DA) during three harmful algal blooms between 1998 and 2000 in central and northern California coastal waters. The vector prey item was Northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) and the primary DA-producing algal diatom was Psuedonitzschia australis. Postmortem examination revealed gross and histologic findings that were distinctive and aided in diagnosis. A total of 109 sea lions were examined, dying between 1 day and 10 months after admission to a marine mammal rehabilitation center. Persistent seizures with obtundation were the main clinical findings. Frequent gross findings in animals dying acutely consisted of piriform lobe malacia, myocardial pallor, bronchopneumonia, and complications related to pregnancy. Gross findings in animals dying months after intoxication included bilateral hippocampal atrophy. Histologic observations implicated limbic system seizure injury consistent with excitotoxin exposure. Peracutely, there was microvesicular hydropic degeneration within the neuropil of the hippocampus, amygdala, pyriform lobe, and other limbic structures. Acutely, there was ischemic neuronal necrosis, particularly apparent in the granular cells of the dentate gyrus and the pyramidal cells within the hippocampus cornu ammonis (CA) sectors CA4, CA3, and CA1. Dentate granular cell necrosis has not been reported in human or experimental animal DA toxicity and may be unique to sea lions. Chronically, there was gliosis, mild nonsuppurative inflammation, and loss of laminar organization in affected areas.  (+info)

(5/18) Fatal inanition in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus): pathological findings in completely emaciated carcasses.

BACKGROUND: In a project to determine the causes of winter mortality in reindeer in Finnmark County, northern Norway, the most frequent diagnosis turned out to be complete emaciation, despite several of the reindeer having been given silage for up to 4 weeks before they died. The present paper describes autopsy results and other findings in these animals. METHODS: Autopsies were made of 32 reindeer carcasses, and 28 of these were diagnosed as completely emaciated based on lack of visible fat and serous atrophy of subepicardial and bone marrow fat. Other investigations of the carcasses included histology, bacteriology, parasitology (counting of macro parasites and faecal egg counting), analysis of vitamin E and selenium in liver, chemical and botanical analysis of rumen content, analysis of lipid content in femur bone marrow and estimation of muscle atrophy by use of a muscle index. RESULTS: Main findings were: Low carcass weight, severe muscle atrophy, hemosiderosis in liver and spleen, subcutaneous oedema (18%) and effusions to body cavities (18%). Two types of lipofuscin granula were identified in the liver: One type occurred in liver endothelial cells of all carcasses, while the other type occurred in hepatocytes, and prevailed in adult animals. Abomasal haemorrhages, consistent with previously described stress lesions, was present in 68% of the carcasses. Diarrhoea occurred in 2 cases, and loose faecal consistency was associated with silage feeding. Rumen content was low in crude protein. Grass dominated rumen content in silage-fed carcasses, while reindeer on natural pastures had mainly woody plants, mosses and litter in rumen. Stem dominated the grass fraction in rumens with high grass content, indicating ruminal indigestion as a cause of emaciation in silage fed animals. Some cases had heavy infestation of parasites such as warble fly larvae (Hypoderma tarandi), throat bot larvae (Cephenemyiae trompe) and lung nematodes. CONCLUSION: Lack of appropriate amounts and/or appropriate quality of feed has been the main cause of emaciation, though heavy infestation of parasites may have contributed to the emaciation in some cases.  (+info)

(6/18) Hypoglycaemia associated with anorexia nervosa.

A 41 year old woman with severe emaciation due to longstanding anorexia nervosa presented with recurrent hypoglycaemia. During an episode of hypoglycaemia, serum insulin and C peptide were undetectable and plasma beta hydroxybutyrate, free fatty acids and lactate were inappropriately low. Response to intravenous glucagon was poor. Muscle enzymes were grossly elevated until she gained weight. Hypoglycaemia was abolished by weight gain.  (+info)

(7/18) Inflammation and structural changes of splenic lymphoid tissue in visceral leishmaniasis: a study on naturally infected dogs.

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(8/18) Canine distemper virus infection in fennec fox (Vulpes zerda).

Fifteen 8-month-old fennec foxes imported from Sudan showed fever, mucopurulent ocular discharge, diarrhea, severe emaciation, seizures, and generalized ataxia, and died. Three of the 15 animals were presented for diagnostic investigation. Severe dehydration, brain congestion, and gastric ulcers were observed in all animals. In one animal, the lungs had failed to collapse and were multifocally dark red in appearance. Histopathologically, there were lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalitis with malacia, mild interstitial pneumonia, lymphoid depletion of lymphoid tissues and organs, and intestinal villous atrophy with intralesional coccidia. There were many intracytoplasmic and/or intranuclear inclusion bodies in the epithelial cells of the medullary velum, lungs, liver, kidneys, trachea, pancreas, stomach, gall bladder, urinary bladder, and ureters, and in macrophages of malacia foci and lymphocytes and macrophages of lymphoid organs. Additionally, intestinal coccidia were confirmed to be Isospora species by a fecal test. To our knowledge, this is the first report of canine distemper with intestinal coccidiosis in fennec fox.  (+info)