Nine Hole Peg Test and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Useful to Evaluate Dexterity of the Hand and Disease Progression in Amyotrophic Lateral SclerosisRead the full article
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Prevalence and Correlates of Neurocognitive Disorders among HIV Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy at a Kenyan Hospital
Background. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) represent a spectrum of cognitive abnormalities affecting attention, concentration, learning, memory, executive function, psychomotor speed, and/or dexterity. Our objectives in this analysis are to determine the prevalence of HAND and the covariates in a Kenyan population. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a convenient sample of people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART) attending routine care visits at the Kenyatta National Hospital HIV clinic between July and August 2015. Baseline demographics were obtained using interviewer-administered questionnaires; clinical data were abstracted from patient records. Trained research clinicians determined the neurocognitive status by administration of the International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS), the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) scale, and the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale. Cognitive impairment was defined as a score of ≤26 on the MOCA and ≤10 on the IHDS. Descriptive analysis and logistic regression to determine predictors of screening positive for HAND were done with the significance value set at <0.05. Results. We enrolled 345 participants (202 men; 143 women). The mean age of the study population was 42 years (±standard deviation (SD) 9.5). Mean duration since HIV diagnosis and mean duration on ART were 6.3 (±SD 3.7) and 5.6 years (±SD 3.4), respectively. Median CD4 count at interview was 446 cells/mm3 (interquartile range (IQR) 278–596). Eighty-eight percent of participants screened positive for HAND, of whom 87% had asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment (ANI) and minor neurocognitive disorders (MND) grouped together while 1% had HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Patients on AZT/3TC/EFV were 3.7 times more likely to have HAND (OR = 3.7, ) compared to other HAART regimens. In the adjusted analysis, women were more likely to suffer any form of HAND than men (aOR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.02, 4.71; ), whereas more years in school and a higher CD4 count (aOR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.88; ), (aOR = 0.998, 95% CI 0.997, 0.999; ) conferred a lowered risk. Conclusion. Asymptomatic and mild neurocognitive impairment is prevalent among people living with HIV on treatment. Clinical care for HIV-positive patients should involve regular screening for neurocognitive disorders while prioritizing women and those with low education and/or low CD4 counts.
Utilization of a Parental Approach to Informed Consent in Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator Administration Decision-Making: Patient Preference and Ethical Considerations
Objective. While administration of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA) is the standard of care in acute ischemic stroke and has been shown to have statistically significant benefit, there can also be potentially life-threatening complications; however, there is no standard informed consent approach. The purpose of this study was to present a parental, technical, and general model of informed consent for IV-TPA and to determine which approach was preferred. Methods. Survey respondents were asked to hypothetically decide whether or not to provide consent for their family member to receive IV-tPA. Respondents were presented with 3 informed consent models: one emphasizing parental qualities, one emphasizing statistical data, and one representing a general consent statement. After being presented each model, the respondents had to select their preferred consent model, as well as rate their level of agreeability toward their family member receiving the medication following each approach. Results. The results of 184 surveys showed respondents were equally as likely to give consent for their family member to receive IV-TPA following all three approaches; however, respondents were significantly more likely to prefer the parental approach compared to a technical or general approach. Conclusion. Our results indicate that while paternalism is generally discouraged in the medical community, some degree of parental language may be preferred by patients in tough decision-making situations toward consent to receive medical interventions.
Practice Variations in the Use of Novel Oral Anticoagulants for Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation-Related Stroke among Stroke Neurologists in Saudi Arabia
Clinical trials have demonstrated that novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are noninferior to warfarin in preventing nonvalvular atrial fibrillation- (nvAF-) related stroke and systemic embolism. However, in these trials, NOACs initiation was delayed for a variable period after stroke. Herein, we aimed to investigate the variability in early initiation of NOACs after nvAF-related stroke among stroke neurologists in Saudi Arabia. A standardized questionnaire was distributed electronically to all the stroke neurologists and fellows in Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire primarily focused on the timing of NOACs initiation after an nvAF-related stroke, according to stroke size (small, medium, and large) and location (anterior or posterior circulation). Thirty-six (85.7%) of the 42 stroke neurologists, who were contacted, participated in the survey. All participants would initiate NOACs in the first 3 days after a TIA; most of them initiate NOACs within 7 days after a small stroke, 4–14 days after a medium stroke, and ≥12 days after a large stroke, regardless of stroke location. Presence of a symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage further delayed initiation of NOACs. Additionally, 77.8% of the participants would bridge with antiplatelets before initiation of NOACs, and 55.6% would use a single antiplatelet agent. In conclusion, the practice of stroke neurologists is consistent with and supports the available evidence from observational studies on the time of initiation of NOACs. Our findings provide a guide for clinicians who manage nvAF-related stroke until more robust evidence from randomized controlled trials is available.
Impaired Recent Verbal Memory in Pornography-Addicted Juvenile Subjects
We aimed to find the differences in memory capabilities between pornography-addicted and nonaddicted juveniles. We enrolled 30 juveniles (12–16 y) consisting of 15 pornography addiction and 15 nonaddiction subjects. We used Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) to measure verbal memory, Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCFT) for visual memory, along with Trail Making Test A and B (TMT-A and TMT-B) for attention. We found a significant reduction in the RAVLT A6 result of the addiction group (nonaddiction vs addiction: 13.47 ± 2.00 vs 11.67 ± 2.44, MD = −1.80, ), but not in ROCFT or attention tests. Analysis in sex subgroups yielded no sex-specific difference. We concluded that pornography addiction may be associated with impaired recent verbal memory in juveniles, regardless of sex and without association to attention.
Prevalence of Anti-JC Virus (JCV) Antibodies in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Population in Cyprus: A Retrospective Study
Background and Purpose. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a debilitating disease of the central nervous system caused by the ubiquitous polyomavirus JC (JCV) in immunocompromised hosts. In recent years, a new subpopulation of patients at risk for PML has emerged, due to the growing use of immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive therapies in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The anti-JCV antibody index is used as a stratification tool in assessing the risk of developing PML. The objective of this study was to retrospectively describe the prevalence of anti-JCV antibodies in the MS population in Cyprus. Methods. We retrospectively collected the demographics of 214 MS patients in Cyprus who were screened for anti-JCV antibodies using the STRATIFY JCV™ assay between September 2011 and June 2018. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the effect of demographic variables on seropositivity, and bivariate tests were used to assess the association between demographic characteristics and JCV AI index. Results. A total of 214 MS patients in Cyprus were tested. Overall anti-JCV antibody prevalence was 45.8% (95% confidence interval 37.2%–55.8%). We could not establish a significant association between seropositivity and increasing age or sex. In the subgroup analysis of natalizumab-treated patients, the annual seroconversion rate was 4.5%. Conclusions. Overall seroprevalence of anti-JCV antibodies in MS patients in Cyprus using the STRATIFY JCV assay was lower than the worldwide reported mean. Although previously reported, in our study, the anti-JCV antibody seropositivity was not associated with increasing age or sex.
Effect of Different Doses and Times of FK506 on Different Areas of the Hippocampus in the Rat Model of Transient Global Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion
Background. Stroke is a major worldwide problem that is leading to a high mortality rate in humans. Ischemia, as the most common type of stroke, is characterized by tissue damage that can occur due to insufficient blood flow to the brain even for a brief duration, leading to the release of inflammatory factors, cytokines, and free radicals. In this study, we investigated the effective dose and injection time of FK506 as an immunophilin ligand for providing a suitable effect on cells of CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Methods. In this in vivo study, a total of 48 male Wistar rats were divided into nine groups. The ischemia model was induced by the ligation of bilateral common carotid arteries. The doses of FK506 (3, 6, and 10 mg/kg) were administered intravenously (IV) at the beginning of reperfusion, followed by repeated injections (10 mg/kg) at 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours after ischemia, respectively. Brains were removed and prepared for Nissl staining and the TdT-mediated dUTP Nick End Labeling method. Results. Data showed that global ischemia did not decrease the number of viable pyramidal cells in CA2 and CA3 regions, but significant differences were observed in the number of viable granular cells and apoptotic bodies in the dentate gyrus between the control and ischemia groups. Repeated doses of 6 mg/kg of FK506 at an interval of 48 hours were deemed to be the suitable dose and best time of injection. Conclusions. It seems that FK506 can ameliorate the extent of apoptosis and may be a good candidate for the treatment of ischemia-induced brain damage.