Perception of and adaptation to rectal isobaric distension in patients with faecal incontinence.
BACKGROUND: Perception of, and adaptation of the rectum to, distension probably play an important role in the maintenance of continence, but perception studies in faecal incontinence provide controversial conclusions possibly related to methodological biases. In order to better understand perception disorders, the aim of this study was to analyse anorectal adaptation to rectal isobaric distension in subjects with incontinence. PATIENTS/METHODS: Between June 95 and December 97, 97 consecutive patients (nine men and 88 women, mean (SEM) age 55 (1) years) suffering from incontinence were evaluated and compared with 15 healthy volunteers (four men and 11 women, mean age 48 (3) years). The patients were classified into three groups according to their perception status to rectal isobaric distensions (impaired, 22; normal, 61; enhanced, 14). Anal and rectal adaptations to increasing rectal pressure were analysed using a model of rectal isobaric distension. RESULTS: The four groups did not differ with respect to age, parity, or sex ratio. Magnitude of incontinence, prevalence of pelvic disorders, and sphincter defects were similar in the incontinent groups. When compared with healthy controls, anal pressure and rectal adaptation to distension were decreased in incontinent patients. When compared with incontinent patients with normal perception, patients with enhanced perception experienced similar rectal adaptation but had reduced anal pressure. In contrast, patients with impaired perception showed considerably decreased rectal adaptation but had similar anal pressure. CONCLUSION: Abnormal sensations during rectal distension are observed in one third of subjects suffering from incontinence. These abnormalities may reflect hyperreactivity or neuropathological damage of the rectal wall. (+info)
Effects of physical and sporting activities on balance control in elderly people.
OBJECTIVE: Balance disorders increase with aging and raise the risk of accidental falls in the elderly. It has been suggested that the practice of physical and sporting activities (PSA) efficiently counteracts these age related disorders, reducing the risk of falling significantly. METHODS: This study, principally based on a period during which the subjects were engaged in PSA, included 65 healthy subjects, aged over 60, who were living at home. Three series of posturographic tests (static, dynamic with a single and fast upward tilt, and dynamic with slow sinusoidal oscillations) analysing the centre of foot pressure displacements or electromyographic responses were conducted to determine the effects of PSA practice on balance control. RESULTS: The major variables of postural control were best in subjects who had always practised PSA (AA group). Those who did not take part in PSA at all (II group) had the worst postural performances, whatever the test. Subjects having lately begun PSA practice (IA group) had good postural performances, close to those of the AA group, whereas the subjects who had stopped the practice of PSA at an early age (AI group) did not perform as well. Overall, the postural control in the group studied decreased in the order AA > IA > AI > II. CONCLUSIONS: The period during which PSA are practised seems to be of major importance, having a positive bearing on postural control. It seems that recent periods of practice have greater beneficial effects on the subject's postural stability than PSA practice only at an early age. These data are compatible with the fact that PSA are extremely useful for elderly people even if it has not been a lifelong habit. (+info)
Neglect after right insular cortex infarction.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Case reports have shown an association between right insular damage and neglect. The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of neglect among patient groups with right or left insular infarction. METHODS: We examined neglect in 9 right-handed subjects with insular stroke as evidenced by CT and/or MRI scans (4 with right insular and 5 with left insular cerebrovascular accident) between 4 and 8 weeks after acute stroke with tests of visual, tactile, and auditory perception. RESULTS: Compared with patients with left insular lesions, patients with right insular lesions showed significant neglect in the tactile, auditory, and visual modalities. CONCLUSIONS: The right insular cortex seems to have a role in awareness of external stimuli, and infarction in this area may lead to neglect in multisensory modalities. (+info)
Central pain after pontine infarction is associated with changes in opioid receptor binding: a PET study with 11C-diprenorphine.
Using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose and 11C-diprenorphine positron emission tomography (PET), we investigated alterations in glucose metabolism and opioid receptor binding in a patient with central poststroke pain, which developed after a small pontine hemorrhagic infarction. In comparison with normal databases, reduced 11C-diprenorphine binding was more accentuated than the hypometabolism on the lateral cortical surface contralateral to the symptoms, and a differential abnormal distribution between the tracers was seen in pain-related central structures. These results show that 11C-diprenorphine PET provides unique information for the understanding of central poststroke pain. (+info)
Long-term effects on the olfactory system of exposure to hydrogen sulphide.
OBJECTIVE: To study chronic effects of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) on cranial nerve I (nervi olfactorii), which have been only minimally described. METHODS: Chemosensations (smell and taste) were evaluated in eight men who complained of continuing dysfunction 2-3 years after the start of occupational exposure to H2S. Various bilateral (both nostrils) and unilateral (one nostril at a time) odour threshold tests with standard odorants as well as the Chicago smell test, a three odour detection and identification test and the University of Pennsylvania smell identification test, a series of 40 scratch and sniff odour identification tests were administered. RESULTS: Six of the eight patients showed deficits of various degrees. Two had normal scores on objective tests, but thought that they continued to have problems. H2S apparently can cause continuing, sometimes unrecognised olfactory deficits. CONCLUSION: Further exploration into the extent of such problems among workers exposed to H2S is warranted. (+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)
Principles of applied neurogastroenterology: physiology/motility-sensation.
Many of the symptoms characteristic of the functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) are consistent with dysfunction of the motor and/or sensory apparatus of the digestive tract. Those aspects of sensorimotor dysfunction most relevant to the FGID include alterations in: gut contractile activity; myoelectrical activity; tone and compliance; and transit, as well as an enhanced sensitivity to distension, in each region of the gastrointestinal tract. Assessment of these phenomena involves a number of techniques, some well established and others requiring further validation. Using such techniques, researchers have reported a wide range of alterations in sensory and in motor function in the FGID. Importantly, however, relationships between such dysfunction and symptoms have been relatively weak, and so the clinical relevance of the former remains unclear. Moreover, the proportions of patients in the various symptom subgroups who display dysfunction, and the extent and severity of their symptoms, require better characterization. On a positive note, progress is occurring on several fronts, especially in relation to functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome, and based on the data gathered to date, a number of areas where further advances are required can be highlighted. (+info)
Olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenia: a qualitative and quantitative review.
Olfactory dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia has been a topic of increasing interest, with deficits in odor identification, detection threshold sensitivity, discrimination, and memory being reported. Despite increasing knowledge, controversy has existed about possible differential deficits among olfactory tests as well as the influences of gender, smoking, and medication status on olfactory measures. To help elucidate some of this controversy, we conducted a qualitative and quantitative (meta-analytic) review of the English language literature on olfaction in schizophrenia. Moderator variables such as gender, medication status, and smoking history were also examined. Results indicated that substantial olfactory deficits, across all domains, are observed in patients with schizophrenia. No differential deficits were observed across domains of odor identification, detection threshold sensitivity, discrimination, and memory. The influences of gender, medication status, and smoking on effect sizes were not significant across studies. This supports the hypothesis of primary dysfunction in the olfactory system that is regulated by brain regions where structural and functional abnormalities have also been reported in neuroimaging studies. (+info)