Clinical features and prognostic factors in adults with bacterial meningitis. (25/148)

BACKGROUND: We conducted a nationwide study in the Netherlands to determine clinical features and prognostic factors in adults with community-acquired acute bacterial meningitis. METHODS: From October 1998 to April 2002, all Dutch patients with community-acquired acute bacterial meningitis, confirmed by cerebrospinal fluid cultures, were prospectively evaluated. All patients underwent a neurologic examination on admission and at discharge, and outcomes were classified as unfavorable (defined by a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 1 to 4 points at discharge) or favorable (a score of 5). Predictors of an unfavorable outcome were identified through logistic-regression analysis. RESULTS: We evaluated 696 episodes of community-acquired acute bacterial meningitis. The most common pathogens were Streptococcus pneumoniae (51 percent of episodes) and Neisseria meningitidis (37 percent). The classic triad of fever, neck stiffness, and a change in mental status was present in only 44 percent of episodes; however, 95 percent had at least two of the four symptoms of headache, fever, neck stiffness, and altered mental status. On admission, 14 percent of patients were comatose and 33 percent had focal neurologic abnormalities. The overall mortality rate was 21 percent. The mortality rate was higher among patients with pneumococcal meningitis than among those with meningococcal meningitis (30 percent vs. 7 percent, P<0.001). The outcome was unfavorable in 34 percent of episodes. Risk factors for an unfavorable outcome were advanced age, presence of otitis or sinusitis, absence of rash, a low score on the Glasgow Coma Scale on admission, tachycardia, a positive blood culture, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, thrombocytopenia, and a low cerebrospinal fluid white-cell count. CONCLUSIONS: In adults presenting with community-acquired acute bacterial meningitis, the sensitivity of the classic triad of fever, neck stiffness, and altered mental status is low, but almost all present with at least two of the four symptoms of headache, fever, neck stiffness, and altered mental status. The mortality associated with bacterial meningitis remains high, and the strongest risk factors for an unfavorable outcome are those that are indicative of systemic compromise, a low level of consciousness, and infection with S. pneumoniae.  (+info)

A measure of neurobehavioral functioning after coma. Part I: Theory, reliability, and validity of Disorders of Consciousness Scale. (26/148)

This is longitudinal validation study describes the psychometric properties of the Disorders of Consciousness Scale (DOCS). This is Part I of a two-part series. Part II illustrates and describes the clinical and scientific implementation of the DOCS measure. The study was conducted at one intensive care unit, two acute rehabilitation hospitals, and one long-term acute chronic care hospital. Participants were unconscious after severe brain injury (BI). We conducted interrater reliability analyses using ratings from interdisciplinary pairs. Results indicated a higher-than-expected level of agreement and no significant difference between any pairs ( chi-square = 8(5df), p = 0.15) (df = degrees of freedom). Examinations of ratings by discipline groups indicated that the DOCS is impacted minimally by discipline. Validity analyses demonstrate that 23 of 34 test stimuli remain stable over time with no floor or ceiling effect. DOCS measures obtained within 94 days of injury predicted recovery of consciousness up to 1 year after injury (c-indices of 0.70 and 0.86). Positive (0.71) and negative (0.68) predictive values indicate that the DOCS predicts recovery and lack of recovery. Twenty-three of the DOCS test stimuli produce a reliable, valid, and stable measure of neurobehavioral recovery after severe BI that predicts recovery and lack of recovery of consciousness 1 year after injury.  (+info)

A measure of neurobehavioral functioning after coma. Part II: Clinical and scientific implementation. (27/148)

This is a longitudinal validation study that is Part II of a two-part series. Part I focuses on the methods used to construct the neurobehavioral measure derived from the Disorders of Consciousness Scale (DOCS) as well as the evidence of reliability and validity. Part II illustrates, through a series of selected case reports, the clinical use of repeated DOCS measures to enhance and complement medical rehabilitation management. The use of repeated DOCS measures in scientific investigations of mechanisms of injury is also described. Participants included patients at rehabilitation hospitals who were 18 years of age and older and unconscious after severe brain injury. Medical decision making regarding short-term effects of pharmacological intervention was augmented and improved through the examination of individual neurobehavioral recovery patterns. We identified medications to treat secondary medical complications and successfully determined effective dosage, presumably improving prognosis for recovery. We facilitated and enhanced development and refinement of individualized rehabilitation programs. Two investigations of treatment effectiveness during coma recovery and examination of the relationship between behavioral changes and neural adaptation are also described. By systematically tracking and mapping individual patterns of neurobehavioral recovery, we show that medical and rehabilitation management after coma can be enhanced. In addition, we also show that by examining the relationship between the DOCS neurobehavioral measure with mechanistic indicators of neurological recovery such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, scientific investigations of treatment and rehabilitation effectiveness can be enhanced.  (+info)

Parkinsonism following bilateral lesions of the globus pallidus: performance on a variety of motor tasks shows similarities with Parkinson's disease. (28/148)

OBJECTIVES: The authors report the results of detailed investigations into the motor function of a patient who, after a heavy drinking binge and subsequent unconsciousness, respiratory acidosis, and initial recovery, developed parkinsonism characterised by hypophonic speech and palilalia, "fast micrographia", impaired postural reflexes, and brady/akinesia in proximal (but not distal) alternating upper limb movements. METHODS: In addition to brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), different aspects of motor function were investigated using reaction time (RT) tasks, pegboard and finger tapping tasks, flex and squeeze tasks, movement related cortical potentials (MRCPs), and contingent negative variation (CNV). Cognitive function was also assessed. The results were compared to those previously reported in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). RESULTS: Brain MRI showed isolated and bilateral globus pallidus (GP) lesions covering mainly the external parts (GPe). These lesions were most probably secondary to respiratory acidosis, as other investigations failed to reveal an alternative cause. The results of the RT tasks showed that the patient had difficulties in preparing and maintaining preparation for a forthcoming movement. MRCP and CNV studies were in line with this, as the early component of the MRCP and CNV were absent prior to movement. The patient's performance on pegboard and finger tapping, and flex and squeeze tasks was normal when performed with one hand, but clearly deteriorated when using both hands simultaneously or sequentially. CONCLUSIONS: In general, the present results were similar to those reported previously in patients with PD. This provides further indirect evidence that the output of globus pallidus is of major importance in abnormal motor function in PD. The possible similarities of the functional status of GP in PD and our case are discussed.  (+info)

Not your "typical patient": cryptococcal meningitis in an immunocompetent patient. (29/148)

Meningitis, when caused by the fungal mycoses Cryptococcus neoformans, is normally seen in immuno-compromised hosts. However, immunocompetent patients are also susceptible to cryptococcal meningitis (CM). In patients with an intact immune system, CM usually presents with the typical signs and symptoms of meningitis: fever, stiff neck, and headache. Major implications for the primary and advanced practice nursing plans of care for CM patients include a thorough history and physical exam, early diagnosis and treatment, and an individualized plan of care focused on minimizing sequelae and side effects of treatment and maximizing functional recovery.  (+info)

Imaging or imagining? A neuroethics challenge informed by genetics. (30/148)

From a twenty-first century partnership between bioethics and neuroscience, the modern field of neuroethics is emerging, and technologies enabling functional neuroimaging with unprecedented sensitivity have brought new ethical, social and legal issues to the forefront. Some issues, akin to those surrounding modern genetics, raise critical questions regarding prediction of disease, privacy and identity. However, with new and still-evolving insights into our neurobiology and previously unquantifiable features of profoundly personal behaviors such as social attitude, value and moral agency, the difficulty of carefully and properly interpreting the relationship between brain findings and our own self-concept is unprecedented. Therefore, while the ethics of genetics provides a legitimate starting point--even a backbone--for tackling ethical issues in neuroimaging, they do not suffice. Drawing on recent neuroimaging findings and their plausible real-world applications, we argue that interpretation of neuroimaging data is a key epistemological and ethical challenge. This challenge is two-fold. First, at the scientific level, the sheer complexity of neuroscience research poses challenges for integration of knowledge and meaningful interpretation of data. Second, at the social and cultural level, we find that interpretations of imaging studies are bound by cultural and anthropological frameworks. In particular, the introduction of concepts of self and personhood in neuroimaging illustrates the interaction of interpretation levels and is a major reason why ethical reflection on genetics will only partially help settle neuroethical issues. Indeed, ethical interpretation of such findings will necessitate not only traditional bioethical input but also a wider perspective on the construction of scientific knowledge.  (+info)

Cerebral vein and dural sinus thrombosis in elderly patients. (31/148)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The clinical features and prognosis of cerebral vein and dural sinus thrombosis (CVT) in elderly patients have not been previously described. METHODS: In a multicenter prospective observational study, we compared clinical and imaging features, risk factors, and outcome of adult patients aged <65 (young and middle-aged patients) and > or =65 years (elderly patients). RESULTS: A total of 624 adult patients with CVT were registered and followed-up for a median of 16 months. Fifty-one (8.2%) were aged > or =65 years. Presentation as an isolated intracranial hypertension syndrome was less frequent in elderly patients (4/51 versus 139/573, P=0.008), whereas depressed consciousness (17 versus 97, P=0.005), and mental status changes (22 versus 115, P=0.001) were more frequent in the elderly. The prognosis of elderly patients was considerably worse than that of younger patients, as only 49% of elderly patients made a complete recovery (versus 82% in younger patients), whereas 27% died and 22% were dependent at the end of follow-up (versus 7 and 2% respectively in younger patients). Carcinoma (5 cases) was more frequent as a risk factor for CVT in elderly patients (P=0.017). During follow-up, elderly patients were more likely to experience thrombotic events (HR=4.8, 95% CI=1.9 to 11.9) and were less likely to experience severe headaches (HR=0.2, 95% CI=0.02, 0.97). CONCLUSIONS: Elderly patients with CVT have a distinctive clinical presentation: isolated intracranial hypertension is uncommon, whereas mental status and alertness disturbances are common. The prognosis of CVT is worse in elderly patients.  (+info)

More than just an ocular solution. (32/148)

Apraclonidine eye drop is an alpha adrenergic agonist derived topical clonidine, used for the treatment of intraocular pressure elevation. We report what is to our knowledge the first case of systemic toxicity of apraclonidine resulted from repeated local administration. Clinical manifestation of toxicity was similar to oral clonidine overdose. Toxicities of ocular drugs should always be considered when a patient presents with new systemic problems.  (+info)