Monday, November 3, 2014

Blood Transfusions Decrease Stroke Risk in Sickle Cell Children

  Children with sickle cell anemia who received regular (monthly) blood transfusions were 58% less likely to have silent or overt strokes compared to those that did not receive regular blood transfusions. These regularly transfused patients also experienced fewer episodes of pain as well.
NEJM Aug 21, 2014

Higher Potassium Intake Lower Risk of Stroke in Women

  In older women, higher potassium intake was associated with a lower risk of all stroke, ischemic stroke and all-cause mortality.
Stroke Sept 4, 2014

Fish Oil to Reduce Seizure Frequency

  In a study of patients with epilepsy, those that took 3 capsules of fish oil per day demonstrated fewer seizures than a higher dose fish oil group and placebo (corn oil).
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry Sept 8, 2014

Increase In MS Exacerbations With Increased Dietary Sodium

  High intake of dietary sodium increases exacerbations of multiple sclerosis almost four-fold.
  These studies suggests that clinicians advise their patients with MS to follow a low-salt diet.
Nature 2013;496(7446):513-517
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2014;Epub2014 Aug 28

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Music Warps Our Perception of Time

  Listening to music makes us believe less time has passed...think elevators, being on hold, waiting in a doctor's waiting room. The way it works is due to the limited capacity of sensory input. So when your brain is steadily distracted you're less likely to note the details of that which surrounds you...including passage of time.
  But an opposite effect may occur. When listening to music while performing a task that requires concentration will typically cause us to overestimate the amount of time that has passed. The theory is that the mind switches back and forth between listening to music and performing a challenging task...the brain forms distinct memories as separate events...inducing a sense of longer time to complete the task.
  Other experiments indicate that listening to music we dislike induces time expansion...our mind recognizes the opening notes and fast forwards the playback in our mind inducing an agonizing lag as we impatiently wait for the miserable tome to terminate.
  So doctors, elevator muzac makers take note...

Untensers Rock

  According to M. Keith Chen people that use languages that use no past or present tense, called "untensers" ie. Mandarin, consistently accumulate more wealth, hold onto it for longer periods of time, are healthier and live longer compared to those that speak a language with a tense. 
  Data was analyzed from 76 countries. It is thought that such"untensers"see their lives as less of a timeline and more of a whole. Tensers {those of us that speak english} see the past as something we've left behind and the future...a distant planet we are unlikely to visit.
Yale School of Business Dec 2012

Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Life Saving Treatments in Opioid Overdose

  There are 19,500 deaths annually due to overdoses of prescription pain meds or heroin....every 27 minutes...think Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Winehouse, Jim Belushi, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin,etc,etc,etc. These deaths may have been prevented with a timely dose of a rapid-acting opioid antagonist naloxone.
  Only available to patients on prescription narcotics at risk is Evizio Auto-injector, the newly approved device that when placed against the skin injects naloxone intra-muscularly...a recorded voice coaches treating bystanders !
  Option 2 for illicit-opioid abusers...Naloxone Nasal Rescue Kit. BTW NYC has distributed 25,000 doses since 2010...but these kits require training for successful administration. Reckitt Benckiser recently licensed an intranasal naloxone device and is fast-tracking the spray to market.
WIRED mag August 2014 p.040 by Emily Dreyfuss

Increase Survival Following MCA Stroke

  Increased survival after middle cerebral artery distribution stroke was achieved in patients that underwent decompressive hemi-craniotomy.
NEJM March 20, 2014

Decrease Stroke Risk : Eat Like a Mediterranean

  Mediterranean diet decreases stroke risk.
Ann Neuro 2013

Increase Motor Function After Stroke

  According to the FLAME study, fluoxetine improves motor function in patients with weakness/paralysis following stroke.
Lancet Neuro 2011;377(9778):1693-1702

Adverse Effects of Marijuana Use

  An NIH study advises caution and the need for further study as more states explore marijuana legalization.
NEJM June 5, 2014

Correct Vitamin D Deficiency and Improve MS Outcomes

  From Harvard researchers and he BENEFIT study, normalizing vitamin D levels early in the treatment course of MS patients with interferon beta 1-b likely improves the outcome for patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Suicides More Likely in Wee Hours of the Night

  Suicides are much more likely to occur between midnight and 4am than at any other time during the day.
  According to Michael Purlis, PhD at the U. of Pennsylvania, archival analysis of the National Violent Death Reporting System and the American Time Use Survey this data review is the first to suggest that circadian factors may contribute to suicidality and that insomnia, nightmares and the simple fact of being awake during these early morning hours may be risk factors for suicide.
  An important implication of these results is that treatment of insomnia may decrease the risk of suicide.

Smoke Pot and Impair Your Sleep

  Marijuana use is associated with impaired sleep quality including difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep, and feeling daytime sleepiness. Also people who started using marijuana before age 15 were more likely to have sleep difficulties as an adult.
Presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies

Copper Therapy for ALS ?

  Mutations in copper-zinc-superoxide dismutase ( SOD 1 ) are believed to cause ALS in humans and transgenic mice. Researchers found that most of SOD1 in the spinal cord of mouse models of ALS was copper deficient. Treatment with copper ( ATSM ) could provide a therapy for patients with ALS.
Journal of Neuroscience June 4, 2014

Cardio for Cognitive Health

  Researchers analyzed data from the REGARDS study to determine cardiovascular health status based on the American Heart AssociationLife's Simple 7 score and found the risk of developing cognitive impairment is significantly higher for individuals with poor cardiovascular health.
Journal of the American Heart Association June 11, 2014

Eat Your Fruits, Vegies and Protein

  Stroke risk decreased by 32% with every 200 grams of fruit consumed daily and 11% with every 200 grams of vegetables consumed daily according to a meta-analysis of 20 studies published within the last 19 years.
Stroke May 8, 2014
  Also, for every extra 20 grams of protein eaten daily the risk of stroke decreased by 26%.
Neurology June 11, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Man in Vegetative State "Communicates" with Doctors, Creates New Memories

  A man that has been in a persistent vegetative state for 12 years was asked questions while undergoing an fMRI (functional MRI) of brain. Researchers obtained correct responses with limited questioning that suggested to them meaningful brain activity. In fact, PET scans of vegetative patients, although they demonstrate reduced brain glucose utilization compared to healthy subjects...the appearance of their scans resembled healthy persons under anesthetic.
  Possibly even more striking, the vegetative patient when asked questions about a change in status a close family member related to the birth of a niece...responded correctly suggesting additionally that new memories might be able to be formed even in these patients.
Special thanks to Amir A. Aminmadani,BS...aspiring neuroscientist for sharing this with me.

A Preventative Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease ?

  In transgenic mice and humans citalopram reduced beta-amyloid production in cerebrospinal fluid.
  12-month-old aged mice given a dose equal to a 50 mg/day human dose demonstrated a dose-dependent reduction in brain interstitial Abeta concentrations of 24.5%.
  Citalopram given to 6-month-old mice markedly reduced the rate of plaque growth and the number of new plaques, but did not induce reduction in plaques already present.
  In a small double-blind study in 23 healthy volunteers (ages 18-50) were randomized to 60 mg of citalopram or placebo. Cerebrospinal fluid was sampled hourly for up to 37 hours. Citalopam was associated with an average reduction of 38% in Abeta concentration. The reduction was due to reduced Abeta production not clearance.
  Further studies are required in humans to determine if Abeta reduced production persists with long term SSRI administration.
   These studies suggest a potential preventative treatment strategy particularly in those at greatest risk.
Sci Transl Med 2014 May;6:236re4

Friday, May 30, 2014

AAN Annual Meeting : American Brain Foundation Major Donors Reception Award Recipient

  At the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Philadelphia, Dr. Christopher Prusinski was awarded the 2013 Brain Paver Leadership Circle Award as presented by Dr. John Mazziotta, Chairman of the American Brain Foundation at the ABF Major Donor reception held at Constitution Hall.
  In receiving his award, Dr. Prusinski quoted the French poet and aviator Antoine De Saint-Exupery who said "Charity never humiliated him who profited by it, nor ever bound him by the chains of gratitude, since it was not to him but to God that the gift was made".
 Ambassador Prusinski was also the leader in fund raising for 2013 for the ABF.

Fellow Status Awarded : Christopher J. Prusinski,DO,FAHA,FAAN

  Dr. Christopher J. Prusinski was awarded the title of Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology in recognition  of having "demonstrated special achievement in the neurosciences, the clinical practice of neurology, or academic/administrative neurology".
  Dr. Prusinski now bears the FAAN distinction in addition to his being past awarded the title of Fellow of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, i.e. FAHA.

American Brain Foundation

  SuperBowl Champion Ben Utecht received the Public Leadership Award from the American Academy of Neurology and joins Ambassador and 2013 American Brain Foundation Brain Paver Leadership Circle award winner, Christopher Prusinski,DO,FAHA,FAAN at the American Brain Foundation booth at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Philadelphia :

Monday, March 10, 2014

Blood Test for Alzheimer's Disease ?

  From Georgetown researchers, a ten phospholipid blood biomarker panel consisting of phosphotidylcholine and acylcarnitine revealed the breakdown of neural cell membranes inpatients that eventually declared themselves cognitively impaired such as that seen in Alzheimer's disease.
  The drawback, in real-world screening, the predictive value would be 35%, leaving two thirds of positive screening results in patients results to be false.
  By the authors own admission, this study requires external validation using rigorous clinical classification before further development for clinical use.
  Additionally, one must continue to broach the ethical conundrum of such predictive tests as this as well as CSF biomarker research results in a disease with no known cause or cure.
Nat Med 2014;DOI:10.1038/nm.3466

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Transcranial Electrical Stimulation For Migraine Re-visited

  Patients treated with four weeks of transcranial electrical stimulation (tDCS) found relief from their chronic migraine headaches unresponsive to typical therapies. In this study the motor cortex was stimulated. High current was able to be safely and effectively to deep brain structures.
  Researchers from the university of Michigan, Harvard and the city college of the city of New York employed tDCS on 13 patients as preventative therapy resulting in a 37% reduction in head pain in the treated individuals.
 A  positive response was seen at four weeks but repeated treatments were needed for a lasting effect.

Front. Neuro., 21 March 2013 | doi 10.3389/fneur.2013.00025

Elsevier Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/Evoked Potentials Section Volume 108, Issue 1, January 1998, pp. 1-16

Elsevier Brain Stimulation Volume 1, Issue 3, July 2008, pp 206-223

Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science Vol 31,Issue 2,pp88-95 April-June  1996 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Increased risk of Stroke Related to Elevated Tungsten in Urine

  Individuals with elevated levels of Tungsten (found in mobile phones and computers) demonstrated a strong association with an increased risk of stroke.
PLOS ONE November 11, 2013

Go Bilingual....Delay Dementia !

  Researchers found that bilingual patients developed dementia 4.5 years later than monolingual patients, even in illiterate patients.there was no added benefit of speaking more than two languages.
Neurology November 6, 2013

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fibromyalgia Patients May Have Polyneuropathy

   Patients who suffer with chronic pain that have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia (a form of central sensitization syndrome) underwent a multi-component analysis including neurologic exam, pathologic and physiologic markers, MNSI, UENS, AFT and distal leg skin biopsies. 41% of the skin biopsies supported a diagnosis of SFPN ( small-fiber polyneuropathy ).
PAIN June 7, 2013

BABIES ! with Alzheimer's disease Gene Mutation Show Changes in their Brains

  From researchers at Brown university, hundreds of infants were enrolled once their saliva was found to reveal gene mutations of APOE4. Those babies with at least one copy of the APOE4 mutation displayed changes in their brains affected by Alzheimer's on MRI. The significance of these findings is uncertain.
JAMA NEUROL. 2013; E-pub 2013 Nov. 25