Neurology Newsletter February 2010

Neurology Newswire Issue 6, December 2009


Neurology NewsWire Issue 1 February 2010

UV LED Therapy Prevents Focal Seizures

Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School discovered that light from an ultraviolet diode (UV LED) reduced "seizure-like" activity in a rat epilepsy model. During the study, UV light released gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) from the "caged" compound carbonyl amino butanoic acid (BC204). GABA then decreased the abnormal electrical activity in the CA1 area of the brain. Results of this study have considerable potential in treating focal epilepsy in humans. Details of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Epilepsia, an official journal of the International League Against Epilepsy.

Steven Rothman, M.D., and colleagues conducted experiments with UV LEDs to control seizure-like activity in rodent brain slices. Population spikes in CA1 were elicited by delivering constant current pulses through a microelectrode placed in the CA3 brain area. Researchers induced seizure-like activity by adding the convulsant, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP; 100 ÁM) and removing magnesium from the fluid solution outside the cells. Caged GABA, BC204, was perfused into the preparation for at least 30 minutes prior to the first illumination.

"Our strongly positive results, in an epilepsy model far more severe than the naturally occurring disease, suggest that this technique could translate to human epilepsy," said Dr. Rothman. Researchers believe that a programmable pump could deliver the caged GABA into the subarachnoid space over the epileptic area of the brain. UV LEDs could then be responsively activated to release GABA, using techniques similar to those used for cortical stimulation units that are currently in clinical trials. To read the full article, please go here:

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Article: "Optical suppression of experimental seizures in rat brain slices." Xiao-Feng Yang, Brigitte F. Schmidt, Daniel L. Rode, and Steven M. Rothman. Epilepsia; Published Online: August 2009
(DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02252.x); Print Issue Date: January 2010

Media Focus on 'Miracle Cure' for Cerebral Palsy Pits Science vs. Hype

In today's environment of 24-and-7 news and Web communications, it doesn't take long for the hype about a new therapeutic approach to get ahead of the science. Sometimes way ahead.

Just ask Joanne Kurtzberg, a cord-blood researcher at Duke University. She has just finished an open-label feasibility and safety trial for children with cerebral palsy from various etiologies, in which the children's own cord blood, banked at birth, is infused intravenously. Kurtzberg has not yet published or presented any scientific results, and has been cautious in the few public statements she has made about the study.

Nevertheless, numerous local and national news programs have reported on a few children enrolled in the study whose parents have attributed dramatic changes in their child to the cell therapy. Many reports have sensationalized the stories. A July 2008 Fox and Friends interview with the parents of one child was slug-lined "Miracle Cure" and used the word miracle or miraculous five times. An accompanying article on FOX News.com was headlined ?Cord Blood Stem Cells Reverse Girl?s Cerebral Palsy.?

NBC?s Today Show interviewed the parents of another child in the Duke study in a lengthy segment that also carried the title ?Miracle Cure? In it, NBC?s chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman argued that such cases should not be overlooked just because they?re not part of a randomized, controlled study, opining that ?medicine has not made a big enough deal about anecdotes.?

Read the full article here in the October 2009 issue of Annals of Neurology.

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International Journal of Stroke - representing the interests of health care professionals, strokologists, advancing the cause of stroke worldwide

As the official journal of the World Stroke Organization, one of our prime objectives is to represent the interests of health care professionals, strokologists advancing the cause of stroke worldwide. Within a very short period of time we have managed to secure our place within the pantheon of world stroke literature. Our impressive initial Impact Factor of 1.97 in our third year of publication was quickly exceeded a year later to 2.0. The philosophy that drives us is to educate, stimulate debate, and communicate high quality research to our readership. This is achieved by providing an exciting and interesting range of Panorama, Review, Clinical Trial Protocols and a very limited number of high quality original Research contributions.

We also strive to make our journal innovative and flexible with new initiatives including virtual issues, Podcasts, Vodcasts, Twitter and blogspots, which connect our stroke community.

We see our role as journal editors to promote change by communicating the extent of the stroke burden and the new and exciting developments that will eventually lead to its reduction; we think we are succeeding!


Abuse in Childhood Linked to Migraine and Other Pain Disorders

Researchers from the American Headache Society?s Women's Issues Section Research Consortium found that incidence of childhood maltreatment, especially emotional abuse and neglect, are prevalent in migraine patients. The study also found that migraineurs reporting childhood emotional or physical abuse and/or neglect had a significantly higher number of comorbid pain conditions compared with those without a history of maltreatment. Full findings of the study appear in the January issue of Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, published on behalf of the American Headache Society by Wiley-Blackwell.

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?Our study found that while childhood maltreatment is associated with depression, the child abuse-adult pain relationship is not fully mediated by depression,? explained Dr. Tietjen. Results from this study, as well as three recent population-based studies, indicate that associations of maltreatment and pain were independent of depression and anxiety, both of which are highly prevalent in this population.

Researchers suggest that for persons presenting for migraine treatment, childhood maltreatment may be an important risk factor for development of comorbid pain disorders. ?Since migraine onset preceded onset of the comorbid pain conditions in our population, treatment strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy may be particularly well suited in these cases,? concluded Dr. Tietjen.

Read the complete finds of this study and related articles below:

Must-Read Books

Evidence-Based Cardiology, 3rd Edition  
ABC of Headache
Anne MacGregor & Alison Frith

Guides the healthcare professional to look for possible causes of presenting symptoms.
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International Neurology   International Neurology
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Atlas of EEG in Critical Care   Atlas of EEG in Critical Care
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Principles of CNS Drug Development: From Test Tube to Patient Stress - From Molecules to Behavior: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Neurobiology of Stress Responses
Principles of
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Stress - From Molecules to Behavior: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Neurobiology of Stress Responses
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ISBN: 978-3-527-32374-6

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