Animal models enable researchers to track amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis. Erik Storkebaum, MSc, and colleagues at the Center for Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy at Flanders Interuniversity, Leuven, Belgium, took several approaches to increase supply of the neuroprotective protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in an animal model. "When administered to rats at 60 days, which is 1 month before symptoms, it delayed onset and prolonged survival by 22 days. When we gave VEGF at the age of disease onset, which more closely mimics the human situation, the treatment still prolonged life by an average of 10 days," Storkebaum reported at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in October 2004
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Can a common cough medicine contribute to effective treatment of symptoms in persons with neurologic disorders? The evidence is mounting in its favor. At the recent American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, research results were presented from a phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study into the safety and efficacy of a dextromethorphan/quinidine capsule in
Neurodegeneration associated with glaucoma was prevented in DBA/2J mice as a result of treatment with 1000 rads of radiation plus T-cell-depleted bone marrow.
Plenty of data show that a greater share of physicians practice in urban than in rural areas. The Council of Graduate Medical Education called it geographic maldistribution, "one of the most enduring features on the American health landscape," and said that it is likely to continue until universal health care is enacted.
Joseph I. Sirven, MD, and Joseph F. Drazkowski, MD, neurologists at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, led a recent study in partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University (ASU) to determine how well medical risks and treatment advances for neurologic conditions are conveyed in US newspaper articles.
Joseph I. Sirven, MD, and Joseph F. Drazkowski, MD, neurologists at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, led a recent study in partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University (ASU) to determine how well medical risks and treatment advances for neurologic conditions are conveyed in US newspaper articles.1 Their findings reveal that coverage of neurologic disorders does not always correlate with the prevalence of the disorders and that more collaboration is needed between journalists and neurologists to better educate the public.
Since its 1999 appearance in New York, West Nile virus (WNV) has spread relentlessly westward each year, opening up new fronts in the Midwest and the mountain states until pummeling California in the summer of 2004. The flavivirus, which is spread primarily by mosquitos, affects a variety of animals, including humans, horses, and nearly 300 bird species. As of October 15, 2004, about 940,000 Americans had been infected, of whom 190,000 became ill and 6790 developed WNV's most feared complications: neuroinvasive disease, including meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis.1
"No longer a pipe dream," is the suggestive lead-in of a widely distributed press release issued last October touting the potential benefits of cannabinoid compounds in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD), Lou Gehrig disease-or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-and a number of other debilitating conditions, as reported during last fall's 2004 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. According to Daniele Piomelli, PhD, an expert in cannabinoid research and professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine, certain cannabinoid compounds can be harnessed to "provide select benefits to patients while avoiding some of the unwanted effects" associated with marijuana use. Compounds of greatest interest have been WIN 55212-2, delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and anandamide.
Dr. Cummings, the originator of Psychiatric Times' "Brain and Behavior" column, looks back over his career in neurology. Looking forward, he predicts that psychiatry and neurology will become ever-more intertwined.
Euthanasia is a word coined from Greek in the 17th century to refer to an easy, painless, happy death. In modern times, however, it has come to mean a physician's causing a patient's death by injection of a lethal dose of medication. In physician-assisted suicide, the physician prescribes the lethal dose, knowing the patient intends to end their life.