Clinical profile of multiple sclerosis in Bengal.
Forty five patients of multiple sclerosis diagnosed on the basis of Poser's criteria from West Bengal were studied. The male-female ratio was 1:1.5, mean age of onset 31.83 years in male and 29.11 years in females. The maximum cases were between the 3rd and 4th decade. Definite MS comprised of 60%, while remaining 40% were probable. Visual impairment (53.33%), weakness of limbs (31.11%) and sensory paraesthesia (20%) were the common presenting symptoms whereas pyramidal tract involvement (93.33%) with absent abdominal reflexes (90%) and optic pallor (64.44%) were common signs. Posterior column and spinothalamic sensations were involved in 55% and 51% of cases respectively. Inter-nuclear ophthalmoplegia was present in 6.66% of cases. Pattern of involvement commonly showed three or more sites of lesion. Optico-spinal affection was present in 22.2% of cases. Relapsing and remitting course was found in 48. 91%, relapsing and progressive course in 33.33% and chronic progressive in 17.8%. MRI of brain showed positive results in 16 out of 23 cases. CSF study showed increased positivity in estimation of immunoglobulin level than oligoclonal band. Findings revalidate the disease pattern as being similar to that in other parts of India as well as Asia. (+info)
Conduction block in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wrist extension was performed in six healthy subjects to establish, first, whether it would be sufficient to produce conduction block and, secondly, whether the excitability changes associated with this manoeuvre are similar to those produced by focal nerve compression. During maintained wrist extension to 90 degrees, all subjects developed conduction block in cutaneous afferents distal to the wrist, with a marked reduction in amplitude of the maximal potential by >50%. This was associated with changes in axonal excitability at the wrist: a prolongation in latency, a decrease in supernormality and an increase in refractoriness. These changes indicate axonal depolarization. Similar studies were then performed in seven patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. The patients developed conduction block, again with evidence of axonal depolarization prior to block. Mild paraesthesiae were reported by all subjects (normals and patients) during wrist extension, and more intense paraesthesiae were reported following the release of wrist extension. In separate experiments, conduction block was produced by ischaemic compression, but its development could not be altered by hyperpolarizing currents. It is concluded that wrist extension produces a 'depolarization' block in both normal subjects and patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, much as occurs with ischaemic compression, but that this block cannot be altered merely by compensating for the axonal depolarization. It is argued that conduction slowing need not always be attributed to disturbed myelination, and that ischaemic compression may be sufficient to explain some of the intermittent symptoms and electrodiagnostic findings in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly when it is of mild or moderate severity. (+info)
Movement-related cerebellar activation in the absence of sensory input.
Movement-related cerebellar activation may be due to sensory or motor processing. Ordinarily, sensory and motor processing are obligatorily linked, but in patients who have severe pansensory neuropathies with normal muscle strength, motor activity occurs in isolation. In the present study, positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging in such patients showed no cerebellar activation with passive movement, whereas there was prominent movement-related cerebellar activation despite absence of proprioceptive or visual input. The results indicate that motor processing occurs within the cerebellum and do not support the recently advanced view that the cerebellum is primarily a sensory organ. (+info)
The wrist of the formula 1 driver.
OBJECTIVES: During formula 1 driving, repetitive cumulative trauma may provoke nerve disorders such as nerve compression syndrome as well as osteoligament injuries. A study based on interrogatory and clinical examination of 22 drivers was carried out during the 1998 formula 1 World Championship in order to better define the type and frequency of these lesions. METHODS: The questions investigated nervous symptoms, such as paraesthesia and diminishment of sensitivity, and osteoligamentous symptoms, such as pain, specifying the localisation (ulnar side, dorsal aspect of the wrist, snuff box) and the effect of the wrist position on the intensity of the pain. Clinical examination was carried out bilaterally and symmetrically. RESULTS: Fourteen of the 22 drivers reported symptoms. One suffered cramp in his hands at the end of each race and one described a typical forearm effort compartment syndrome. Six drivers had effort "osteoligamentous" symptoms: three scapholunate pain; one medial hypercompression of the wrist; two sequellae of a distal radius fracture. Seven reported nerve disorders: two effort carpal tunnel syndromes; one typical carpal tunnel syndrome; one effort cubital tunnel syndrome; three paraesthesia in all fingers at the end of a race, without any objective signs. CONCLUSIONS: This appears to be the first report of upper extremity disorders in competition drivers. The use of a wrist pad to reduce the effects of vibration may help to prevent trauma to the wrist in formula 1 drivers. (+info)
Sensory sequelae of medullary infarction: differences between lateral and medial medullary syndrome.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A comparison between long-term sensory sequelae of lateral medullary infarction (LMI) and medial medullary infarction (MMI) has never been made. METHODS: We studied 55 patients with medullary infarction (41 with LMI and 14 with MMI) who were followed up for >6 months. We examined and interviewed the patients with the use of a structured format regarding the most important complaints, functional disabilities, and the presence of sensory symptoms. The nature and the intensity of sensory symptoms were assessed with the modified McGill-Melzack Pain Questionnaire and the visual analog scale, respectively. RESULTS: There were 43 men and 12 women, with an average age of 59 years. Mean follow-up period was 21 months. The sensory symptoms were the most important residual sequelae in LMI patients and the second most important in MMI patients. In LMI patients, the severity of residual sensory symptoms was significantly related to the initial severity of objective sensory deficits (P<0.05). Sensory symptoms were most often described by LMI patients as numbness (39%), burning (35%), and cold (22%) in the face, and cold (38%), numbness (29%), and burning (27%) in the body/limbs, whereas they were described as numbness (60%), squeezing (30%) and cold (10%), but never as burning, in their body/limbs by MMI patients. LMI patients significantly (P<0.05) more often cited a cold environment as an aggravating factor for the sensory symptoms than did the MMI patients without spinothalamic sensory impairment. The subjective sensory symptoms were frequently of a delayed onset (up to 6 months) in LMI patients, whereas they usually started immediately after the onset in MMI patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that sensory symptoms are major sequelae in both LMI and MMI patients. However, the nature, the mode of onset, and aggravating factors are different between the 2 groups, which probably is related to a selective involvement of the spinothalamic tract by the former and the medial lemniscus by the latter. We suggest that the mechanisms for the central poststroke pain or paresthesia may differ according to the site of damages on the sensory tracts (spinothalamic tract versus medial lemniscal tract). (+info)
Methylmercury: a new look at the risks.
In the US, exposure to methylmercury, a neurotoxin, occurs primarily through consumption of fish. Data from recent studies assessing the health impact of methylmercury exposure due to consumption of fish and other sources in the aquatic food web (shellfish, crustacea, and marine mammals) suggest adverse effects at levels previously considered safe. There is substantial variation in human methylmercury exposure based on differences in the frequency and amount of fish consumed and in the fish's mercury concentration. Although virtually all fish and other seafood contain at least trace amounts of methylmercury, large predatory fish species have the highest concentrations. Concerns have been expressed about mercury exposure levels in the US, particularly among sensitive populations, and discussions are underway about the standards used by various federal agencies to protect the public. In the 1997 Mercury Study Report to Congress, the US Environmental Protection Agency summarized the current state of knowledge on methylmercury's effects on the health of humans and wildlife; sources of mercury; and how mercury is distributed in the environment. This article summarizes some of the major findings in the Report to Congress and identifies issues of concern to the public health community. (+info)
Patients treated with antitumor drugs displaying neurological deficits are characterized by a low circulating level of nerve growth factor.
The aim of our study was to explore whether nerve growth factor (NGF) plays any role in the development of peripheral neuropathy induced by anticancer treatment. We measured the circulating NGF levels in 23 cancer patients before and after chemotherapy. We evaluated whether the development of peripheral neurotoxicity was associated with changes in basal NGF concentrations in patients studied with a comprehensive neurological and neurophysiological examination. The results of these studies showed that the circulating levels of NGF, which are about 20 pg/ml in plasma of controls, decrease during chemotherapy and in some cases completely disappeared after prolonged treatment with antitumor agents. The decrease in NGF levels seems to be correlated with the severity of neurotoxicity. These results clearly suggest that NGF might become a useful agent to prevent neuropathies induced by antineoplastic drugs and restore peripheral nerve dysfunction induced by these pharmacological compounds. (+info)
Radiofrequency electrocution (196 MHz).
Radiofrequency (RF) electrocutions are uncommon. A case of electrocution at 196 MHz is presented partly because there are no previous reports with frequencies as high as this, and partly to assist in safety standard setting. A 53-year-old technician received two brief exposures to both hands of 2A current at 196 MHz. He did not experience shock or burn. Progressively over the next days and months he developed joint pains in the hands, wrists and elbows, altered temperature and touch sensation and parasthesiae. Extensive investigation found no frank neurological abnormality, but there were changes in temperature perception in the palms and a difference in temperature between hands. His symptoms were partly alleviated with ultra-sound therapy, phenoxybenzamine and glyceryl trinitrate patches locally applied, but after several months he continues to have some symptoms. The biophysics and clinical aspects are discussed. It is postulated that there was mainly surface flow of current and the micro-vasculature was effected. Differences to 50 Hz electrocution are noted. Electrocution at 196 MHz, even in the absence of burns may cause long-term morbidity to which physicians should be alerted. Safety standards should consider protection from electrocution at these frequencies. (+info)