Monday, December 31, 2018

African Folk Remedy's for Seizures Molecular Mechanism discovered

  The leaf extract from the shrub Malotus oppositifolius helps to control seizures. Now researchers at UC Irvine have identified two components from the leaf extract activate KCNQ2/3, a potassium channel essential for controlling electrical activity in the brain.   These two components together are highly effective at activating these potassium ion channels and preventing seizures.
  Isovaleric acid, a component of valerian root is one of these active compounds in this African folk remedy.
Nat Comun. 2018;9(1):3845

Stiff Aorta Predicts Dementia

  From the Cardiovascular Health Study, researchers found that individuals with high carotid-femoral pulse wave velocities (consistent with increased aortic stiffness) were 60% more likely to develop dementia during the following 15 years.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;66(1):297-306

High Cortisol Associated with Impaired Memory

  From the Framingham heart study, researchers found that middle-aged individuals with high levels of cortisol in their blood have impaired memory compared to those with normal cortisol.
  Hmm...stay tuned.
Neurology. 2018 Oct 24

Good Sleep Quality to Improve Sport-related Concussion in the Young

  From researchers out of Texas, young athletes with good sleep quality after a sports-related concussion are more likely to recover within two weeks compared to those with poor quality sleep.
  Guide to parent's to improve their child's sleep: avoid electronics one hour before bedtime, establish a regular sleep schedule and encourage 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
American Academy of Pediatrics 2018 Annual Conference

Migraine Prevention in Pregnancy

  A review of the literature from researchers at UCSF indicate that only amitriptyline and LOW DOSE propanolol (ie, 30-40mg per day) have sufficient data to classify them as compatible during pregnancy. Higher doses of propanolol may cause intra-uterine growth retardation.

Contact Lawmakers to Support Brain Research !

  From researchers in the Netherlands, half of all women and one-third of all men will develop dementia, stroke or Parkinsonism.
  Please support the American Academy of Neurology's (and this neurologist's) advocacy efforts to continue funding of the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative by contacting your representatives in congress and the senate.

Sing to Feel and Move Better with Parkinson's !

  From kinesiology researchers at Iowa State, singing improves motor symptoms, mood and decreases physiologic indicators of stress in patient's with Parkinson's disease. Also improved were swallowing and respiratory control. 
  The mechanism is unkown.
Society for Neuroscience 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018

How Often are Staring Spells in Kids due to Seizures ?

   Staring spells are not uncommon in kids. From researchers at Emory, 2,818 patients were reviewed that presented to the new onset pediatric seizure clinic for evaluation of staring spells.
  About half were found to have epilepsy.
Annual Meeting of Child Neurology 2018

Stuttering: Major Breakthrough in Treatment !

  From researchers in Houston, nine patients that had stuttering speech aged 18 to 80 were treated for 10 days using noninvasive magnetic brain stimulation (TRPMS, invented at Weill Cornell in New York). All study participants significantly improved in fluency. In other words, it works.
  Next will be followup studies looking at functional MRI changes in treated individuals and an assessment of best treatment frequency.
ANA Annual Meeting 2018
More info at Seraya Medical Systems

Tremor in PD? Skip the Knife

  From neuropsychologists at the U of Virginia, focused ultrasound thalamotomy (that strategically makes a hole deep in the brain) improves the quality of life in patient's with drug resistant tremor associated with Parkinson's disease.
Neurology 2018. 91(14):e1275-e1284

Concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Increases Risk of Suicide

  From a review of the literature from 1963 to 2017, researchers in Toronto found that experiencing a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury was associated with a twofold higher risk of suicide as well as suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.
JAMA Neurol. 2018 Nov 12

Appendectomy to Decrease Risk of Parkinson's Disease ? Maybe...Stay Tuned

  The vermiform appendix was once considered to be a vestigial (left over, no longer used) organ. There is now evidence that the appendix plays a major role in the regulation of the immune system especially regulation of gut bacteria.
  From the largest of these epidemiologic related studies that reviewed the health records of 1.6 million Swedes that the incidence of PD was 19.3% lower in those that had their appendix removed.
  This data suggests that the appendix may be a reservoir of alpha-synuclein (the protein that accumulates in excess in the brain's of Parkinson's and related conditions (DLB).
  Since only 1% of the population gets PD it has been postulated that some, as yet unknown, confluence of events (such as an environmental trigger) that alters the gut microbiome decades before the disease is evident that mediates the risk of Parkinson's.
Sci Transl Med. 2018;10(465)