Early theory and research on hemispheric specialization.
This article provides an account of early theory and research on hemispheric specialization. It begins by tracing theory and research on localization of function that set the stage for the discovery of hemispheric specialization. After that, it describes the studies of Paul Broca, John Hughlings-Jackson, and others on hemisphere specialization and reviews some of the proposed explanations for the phenomenon. It then turns to the study of hemispheric specialization and mental illness, and it ends by identifying some of the linkages between theory and research from the past and the present. (+info)
Measuring change in disability after inpatient rehabilitation: comparison of the responsiveness of the Barthel index and the Functional Independence Measure.
BACKGROUND: The importance of evaluating disability outcome measures is well recognised. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM) was developed to be a more comprehensive and "sensitive" measure of disability than the Barthel Index (BI). Although the FIM is widely used and has been shown to be reliable and valid, there is limited information about its responsiveness, particularly in comparison with the BI. This study compares the appropriateness and responsiveness of these two disability measures in patients with multiple sclerosis and stroke. METHODS: Patients with multiple sclerosis (n=201) and poststroke (n=82) patients undergoing inpatient neurorehabilitation were studied. Admission and discharge scores were generated for the BI and the three scales of the FIM (total, motor, and cognitive). Appropriateness of the measures to the study samples was determined by examining score distributions, floor and ceiling effects. Responsiveness was determined using an effect size calculation. RESULTS: The BI, FIM total, and FIM motor scales show good variability and have small floor and ceiling effects in the study samples. The FIM cognitive scale showed a notable ceiling effect in patients with multiple sclerosis. Comparable effect sizes were found for the BI, and two FIM scales (total and motor) in both patients with multiple sclerosis and stroke patients. CONCLUSION: All measures were appropriate to the study sample. The FIM cognitive scale, however, has limited usefulness as an outcome measure in progressive multiple sclerosis. The BI, FIM total, and FIM motor scales show similar responsiveness, suggesting that both the FIM total and FIM motor scales have no advantage over the BI in evaluating change. (+info)
The fate of neuroradiologic abstracts presented at national meetings in 1993: rate of subsequent publication in peer-reviewed, indexed journals.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Abstract presentations are a valuable means of rapidly conveying new information; however, abstracts that fail to eventually become published are of little use to the general medical community. Our goals were to determine the publication rate of neuroradiologic papers originally presented at national meetings in 1993 and to assess publication rate as a function of neuroradiologic subspecialty and study design. METHODS: Proceedings from the 1993 ASNR and RSNA meetings were reviewed. A MEDLINE search encompassing 1993-1997 was performed cross-referencing lead author and at least one text word based on the abstract title. All ASNR and RSNA neuroradiologic abstracts were included. Study type, subspecialty classification, and sample size were tabulated. Publication rate, based on study design and neuroradiologic subspecialty, was compared with overall publication rate. Median duration from meeting presentation to publication was calculated, and the journals of publication were noted. RESULTS: Thirty-seven percent of ASNR abstracts and 33% of RSNA neuroradiologic abstracts were published as articles in indexed medical journals. Publication rates among neuroradiologic subspecialty types were not significantly different. Prospective studies presented at the ASNR were published at a higher rate than were retrospective studies. There was no difference between the publication rate of experimental versus clinical studies. Neuroradiologic abstracts were published less frequently than were abstracts within other medical specialties. Median time between abstract presentation and publication was 15 months. CONCLUSION: Approximately one third of neuroradiologic abstracts presented at national meetings in 1993 were published in indexed journals. This rate is lower than that of abstracts from medical specialties other than radiology. (+info)
Specialty care for patients with epilepsy must become standard of care. Promotion of Specialty Care for Epilepsy Group.
Epilepsy is a complex, common disorder with severe consequences for patients. The authors believe that a significant percentage of patients are receiving suboptimal care. The national standard of care needs to be upgraded to include the notion that patients with less than total seizure control or those suffering from any medication side-effects should be given the opportunity to receive specialty care by physicians with specific expertise in the field of epilepsy. (+info)
Neurological disease, emotional disorder, and disability: they are related: a study of 300 consecutive new referrals to a neurology outpatient department.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders in patients referred to general neurology outpatient clinics, to compare disability and number of somatic symptoms in patients with and without emotional disorder, the relation to neurological disease, and assess the need for psychiatric treatment as perceived by patients and doctors. METHODS: A prospective cohort study set in a regional neurology service in Edinburgh, Scotland. The subjects were 300 newly referred consecutive outpatients who were assessed for DSM IV anxiety and depressive disorders (PRIME-MD, and HAD), health status, and disability (SF-36), and patients', GPs' and neurologists' ratings of the need for patient to receive psychiatric or psychological treatment. RESULTS: Of 300 new patients, 140 (47%) met criteria for one or more DSM IV anxiety or depressive diagnosis. Major depression was the most common (27%). A comparison of patients with and without emotional disorder showed that physical function, physical role functioning, bodily pain, and social functioning were worse in patients with emotional disorders (p<0. 0005). The median number of somatic symptoms was greater in patients with emotional disorders (p<0.0005). These differences were independent of the presence of neurological disease. Few patients wished to receive psychiatric or psychological treatments. Both general practitioners and neurologists were more likely to recommend psychiatric treatment when the patients' symptoms were medically unexplained. CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of new referrals to general neurology clinics met criteria for a DSM IV psychiatric diagnosis. These patients were more disabled, and had more somatic symptoms. They expressed little enthusiasm for receiving psychiatric treatment. (+info)
Do medically unexplained symptoms matter? A prospective cohort study of 300 new referrals to neurology outpatient clinics.
OBJECTIVES: To determine (a) the proportion of patients referred to general neurology outpatient clinics whose symptoms are medically unexplained; (b) why they were referred; (c) health status and emotional disorder in this group compared with patients whose symptoms are explained by "organic" neurological disease. METHODS: The prospective cohort study with case note follow up at 6 months was carried out in the regional neurology service in Lothian, Scotland with 300 newly referred outpatients. Neurologists rated the degree to which patients' symptoms were explained by organic disease (organicity), GPs' reasons for referral, health status (SF-36), anxiety, and depressive disorders (PRIME-MD), RESULTS: Of 300 new patients 11% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 7%-14%) had symptoms that were rated as "not at all explained" by organic disease, 19% (15% to 23%) "somewhat explained", 27% (22% to 32%) "largely explained", and 43% (37% to 49%) "completely explained" by organic disease. Reason for referral was not associated with "organicity". Comparison of these groups showed that although physical function was similar, the median number of physical symptoms and pain were greater in patients with lower organicity ratings (p<0.0005, p<0. 0005). Depressive and anxiety disorders were more common in patients with symptoms of lower organicity (70% of patients in the not at all group had an anxiety or depressive disorder compared with 32% in the completely explained group (p<0.0005). CONCLUSION: One third of new referrals to general neurology clinics have symptoms that are poorly explained by identifiable organic disease. These patients were disabled and distressed. They deserve more attention. (+info)
An integrative approach to neurotoxicology.
Exposure of human populations to a wide variety of chemicals has generated concern about the potential neurotoxicity of new and existing chemicals. Experimental studies conducted in laboratory animals remain critical to the study of neurotoxicity. An integrative approach using pharmacokinetic, neuropathological, neurochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral methods is needed to determine whether a chemical is neurotoxic. There are a number of factors that can affect the outcome of a neurotoxicity study, including the choice of animal species, dose and dosage regimen, route of administration, and the intrinsic sensitivity of the nervous system to the test chemical. The neurotoxicity of a chemical can vary at different stages of brain development and maturity. Evidence of neurotoxicity may be highly subjective and species specific and can be complicated by the presence of systemic disease. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of these and other factors involved in the assessment of the neurotoxic potential for chemicals. This article discusses the neurotoxicity of several neurotoxicants (eg, acrylamide, trimethyltin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, manganese, and ivermectin), thereby highlighting a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment of chemically induced neurotoxicity in animals. These model chemicals produce a broad range of effects that includes peripheral axonopathy, selective neuronal damage within the nervous system, and impaired neuronal-glial metabolism. (+info)
Racial variation in treatment for transient ischemic attacks: impact of participation by neurologists.
OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the role of neurologists in explaining African American-white differences in the use of diagnostic and therapeutic services for cerebrovascular disease. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Medicare inpatient hospital records were used to identify a random 20 percent sample of patients age 65 and over hospitalized with a principal diagnosis of TIA between January 1, 1991 and November 30, 1991 (n = 17,437). STUDY DESIGN: Medicare administrative data were used to identify five outcome measures: noninvasive cerebrovascular tests, cerebral angiography, carotid endarterectomy, anticoagulant therapy (as proxied by outpatient prothrombin time tests), and the specialty of the attending physician (neurologist versus other specialist). DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: All Medicare claims were extracted for a 30-day period beginning with the date of admission. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Even after adjusting for patient demographics, comorbidity, ability to pay, and provider characteristics, African American patients were significantly less likely to receive noninvasive cerebrovascular testing, cerebral angiography, or carotid endarterectomy, compared with white patients, and to have a neurologist as their attending physician. At the same time, patients treated by neurologists were more likely to undergo diagnostic testing and less likely to undergo carotid endarterectomy. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that African American patients with TIA may have less access to services for cerebrovascular disease and that at least some of this may be attributed to less access to neurologists. More research is needed on how patients at risk for stroke are referred to specialists. (+info)