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The USA is the largest consumer of legally, internationally-traded wildlife. A proportion of this trade consists of species listed in the Appendices of CITES, and recorded in the CITES Trade Database. Using this resource, we quantified wildlife entering the USA for 82 of the most frequently recorded wildlife products and a range of taxonomic groups during 1979–2014. We examined trends in legal trade and seizures of illegally traded items over time, and relationships between trade and four national measures of biodiversity. We found that: (1) there is an overall positive relationship between legal imports and seizures; (2) Asia was the main region exporting CITES-listed wildlife products to the USA; (3) bears, crocodilians and other mammals (i.e. other than Ursidae, Felidae, Cetacea, Proboscidea, Primates or Rhinocerotidae) increased in both reported legal trade and seizures over time; (4) legal trade in live specimens was reported to be primarily from captive-produced, artificially-propagated or ranched sources, whereas traded meat was primarily wild sourced; (5) both seizures and legally traded items of felids and elephants decreased over time; and (6) volumes of both legally traded and seized species were correlated with four attributes of exporting countries: species endemism, species richness, number of IUCN threatened species, and country size. The goal of our analysis was to inform CITES decision-making and species conservation efforts.
Patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) may present with convulsive events that are not accompanied by epileptiform brain activity. Video-electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring is the gold standard for diagnosis, yet not all patients experience convulsive episodes during video-EEG sessions. Hence, we aimed to construct a predictive model in order to detect PNES from serum hormone levels, detached from an evaluation of patients’ convulsive episodes.
Fifteen female patients with PNES and 60 healthy female controls participated in the study, providing blood samples for hormone analysis. A binomial logistic regression model and the leave-one-out cross-validation were employed.
We found that levels of neuropeptide Y and adrenocorticotropic hormone were the optimal combination of predictors, with over 90% accuracy (area under the curve=0.980).
The ability to diagnose PNES irrespective of convulsive events would represent an important step considering its feasibility and affordability in daily clinical practice.
Functional neurological disorders (FND)—also called psychogenic, nonorganic, conversion, and dissociative disorders—constitute one of the commonest problems in neurological practice. An occupational therapist (OT) is commonly involved in management, but there is no specific literature or guidance for these professionals. Classification now emphasizes the importance of positive diagnosis of FND based on physical signs, more than psychological features. Studies of mechanism have produced new clinical and neurobiological ways of thinking about these disorders. Evidence has emerged to support the use of physiotherapy and occupational therapy as part of a multidisciplinary team for functional movement disorders (FMD) and psychotherapy for dissociative (nonepileptic) attacks. The diagnosis and management of FND has entered a new evidence-based era and deserves a standard place in the OT neurological curriculum. We discuss specific management areas relevant to occupational therapy and propose a research agenda.
Seizures are important complications following a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). The evidence for the use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in treatment and prevention of those seizures is conflicting. The purpose of this review is to provide an up-to-date evidence summary of the incidence and outcomes of seizures following an SAH as well as the use of different AEDs post-SAH in order to evaluate the need for seizure prophylaxis, the choice of AEDs, and their dosing considerations in SAH patients. A literature search of PubMed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library was performed. A total of 37 studies were reviewed, mostly observational. Definitions of seizures in temporal relation to initial hemorrhage were variable. Similarly, the rates of seizures varied in the literature, ranging from 0 to 31%. Given the reported adverse outcomes associated with AED usage, seizure prophylaxis is not warranted. Levetiracetam appears to be better tolerated than phenytoin in SAH patients, though further research is needed. Higher initial dosing of levetiracetam might be required due to its enhanced clearance in SAH patients. In conclusion, there is a lack of quality evidence to definitively recommend the use of one AED over another. Further prospective research comparing the use of different AEDs in patients with an SAH is needed.
Substance use disorders in older adults are expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. Given the increased susceptibility to cognitive deficits in older substance users (defined here as aged 50+ years due to the accelerated health decline observed in this population), it is important to consider the functional correlates of cognitive impairment in these older adults. This study details the cognitive status of older individuals attending outpatient drug and alcohol (D&A) treatment services and seeks to determine of the association of cognitive impairment to self-reported daily functioning.
Ninety nine clients aged 50 years or over attending outpatient D&A treatment services in Sydney, Australia participated. Cognition was assessed using the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination – Revised (ACE-R). Recent substance use (Australian Treatment Outcome Profile), physical and mental health (SF12, Geriatric Depression Scale), social isolation (Lubben Social Network Scale), and activities of daily living (Bayer ADL Scale) were also assessed.
Nearly two-thirds of participants screened positive for cognitive impairment on the ACE-R; 41% and 65% of clients met the cut-off scores for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and more severe cognitive impairment, respectively. Self-reported seizure history was a predictor of cognitive impairment.
The results suggest that cognitive impairment in this group is common. The assessment of cognitive status for this older group of patients should not only include the identification of cognitive impairment but also encompass mental health and social functioning. A greater understanding of the needs of this cohort will also enable better co-ordination with other health and welfare services tailored to this population.
This study aimed to extend the current understanding of dissociative symptoms experienced by patients with dissociative (psychogenic, non-epileptic) seizures (DS), including psychological and somatoform types of symptomatology. An additional aim was to assess possible relationships between dissociation, traumatic experiences, post-traumatic symptoms and seizure manifestations in this group.
A total of 40 patients with DS were compared with a healthy control group (n = 43), matched on relevant demographic characteristics. Participants completed several self-report questionnaires, including the Multiscale Dissociation Inventory (MDI), Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire-20, Traumatic Experiences Checklist and the Post-Traumatic Diagnostic Scale. Measures of seizure symptoms and current emotional distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) were also administered.
The clinical group reported significantly more psychological and somatoform dissociative symptoms, trauma, perceived impact of trauma, and post-traumatic symptoms than controls. Some dissociative symptoms (i.e. MDI disengagement, MDI depersonalization, MDI derealization, MDI memory disturbance, and somatoform dissociation scores) were elevated even after controlling for emotional distress; MDI depersonalization scores correlated positively with trauma scores while seizure symptoms correlated with MDI depersonalization, derealization and identity dissociation scores. Exploratory analyses indicated that somatoform dissociation specifically mediated the relationship between reported sexual abuse and DS diagnosis, along with depressive symptoms.
A range of psychological and somatoform dissociative symptoms, traumatic experiences and post-traumatic symptoms are elevated in patients with DS relative to healthy controls, and seem related to seizure manifestations. Further studies are needed to explore peri-ictal dissociative experiences in more detail.
Recently, many cases of autoimmune limbic encephalitis with positive GAD65 (glutamic acid decarboxylase) antibodies have been described in the scientific literature. However, it remains an understudied topic of great relevance to practicing neurologists. Thus, we report here a review of published cases, in English, of autoimmune limbic encephalitis with this type of antibodies, focusing on presenting symptoms and signs, associated conditions, and findings upon investigation. We also report treatment responses. We aim to offer a better description of the clinical spectrum of autoimmune limbic encephalitis associated with GAD65 antibodies as well as to expose its paraclinical features and outcome.
The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy and safety of two pre-defined checklists to identify prehospital post-ictal or hypoglycemic patients who could be discharged at the scene.
A retrospective cohort study of lower acuity, adult patients attended by paramedics in 2013, and who were either post-ictal or hypoglycemic, was conducted. Two self-care pathway assessment checklists (one each for post-ictal and hypoglycemia) designed as clinical decision tools for paramedics to identify patients suitable for discharge at the scene were used. The intention of the checklists was to provide paramedics with justification to not transport a patient if all checklist criteria were met. Actual patient destination (emergency department [ED] or discharge at the scene) and subsequent events (eg, ambulance requests) were compared between patients who did and did not fulfill the checklists. The performance of the checklists against the destination determined by paramedics was also assessed.
Totals of 629 post-ictal and 609 hypoglycemic patients were identified. Of these, 91 (14.5%) and 37 (6.1%) patients fulfilled the respective checklist. Among those who fulfilled the checklist, 25 (27.5%) post-ictal and 18 (48.6%) hypoglycemic patients were discharged at the scene, and 21 (23.1%) and seven (18.9%) were admitted to hospital after ED assessment. Amongst post-ictal patients, those fulfilling the checklist had more subsequent ambulance requests (P=.01) and ED attendances with seizure-related conditions (P=.04) within three days than those who did not. Amongst hypoglycemic patients, there were no significant differences in subsequent events between those who did and did not meet the criteria. Paramedics discharged five times more hypoglycemic patients at the scene than the checklist predicted with no significant differences in the rate of subsequent events. Four deaths (0.66%) occurred within seven days in the hypoglycemic cohort, and none of them were attributed directly to hypoglycemia.
The checklists did not accurately identify patients suitable for discharge at the scene within the Emergency Medical Service. Patients who fulfilled the post-ictal checklist made more subsequent health care service requests within three days than those who did not. Both checklists showed similar occurrence of subsequent events to paramedics’ decision, but the hypoglycemia checklist identified fewer patients who could be discharged at the scene than paramedics actually discharged. Reliance on these checklists may increase transportations to ED and delay initiation of appropriate treatment at a hospital.
TohiraH, FatovichD, WilliamsTA, BremnerA, ArendtsG, RogersIR, CelenzaA, MountainD, CameronP, SprivulisP, AhernT, FinnJ. Paramedic Checklists do not Accurately Identify Post-ictal or Hypoglycaemic Patients Suitable for Discharge at the Scene. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(3):282–293.
Dravet syndrome (DS) is a severe epilepsy syndrome characterized by early onset of multiple types of seizures. We report the first case of reflex seizures triggered by diaper change in a girl at 9 months old and 2 years old with a mutation in the SCN1A gene causing DS. Reflex seizures have been reported in patients with DS provoked by increased body temperature or visual stimulation. The case we report widens the spectrum of triggers causing reflex seizures in children with DS. Cortical hyperexcitability resulting from the genetic defect explains the tendency to experience such reflex seizures.
This review centers on the discoveries made during more than six decades of neuroscience research on the role of gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) as neurotransmitter. In doing so, special emphasis is directed to the significant involvement of Canadian scientists in these advances. Starting with the early studies that established GABA as an inhibitory neurotransmitter at central synapses, we summarize the results pointing at the GABA receptor as a drug target as well as more recent evidence showing that GABAA receptor signaling plays a surprisingly active role in neuronal network synchronization, both during development and in the adult brain. Finally, we briefly address the involvement of GABA in neurological conditions that encompass epileptic disorders and mental retardation.
RESUMÉ: Le chemin long et sinueux pour que le GABA soit reconnu comme un neurotransmetteur. Cette revue est axée sur les découvertes réalisées durant plus de six décennies de recherche en neurosciences sur l’acide gamma-aminobutyrique (GABA) comme neurotransmetteur. À cet effet, nous mettons une emphase particulière sur le rôle significatif de chercheurs canadiens dans ce domaine de recherche. En prenant comme point de départ les premières études qui ont établi que le GABA était un neurotransmetteur au niveau de synapses centrales, nous faisons le sommaire des résultats identifiant le récepteur GABA comme étant une cible thérapeutique ainsi que des données plus récentes montrant que la signalisation du récepteur GABAA joue, de façon surprenante, un rôle actif dans la synchronisation du réseau neuronal, tant au cours du développement que dans le cerveau adulte. Finalement, nous traitons brièvement du rôle de GABA dans les maladies neurologiques incluant les troubles épileptiques et l’arriération mentale.
Despite appropriate antiepileptic drug treatment, approximately one-third of humans and dogs with epilepsy continue experiencing seizures, emphasising the importance for new treatment strategies to improve the quality of life of people or dogs with epilepsy. A 6-month prospective, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over dietary trial was designed to compare a ketogenic medium-chain TAG diet (MCTD) with a standardised placebo diet in chronically antiepileptic drug-treated dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Dogs were fed either MCTD or placebo diet for 3 months followed by a subsequent respective switch of diet for a further 3 months. Seizure frequency, clinical and laboratory data were collected and evaluated for twenty-one dogs completing the study. Seizure frequency was significantly lower when dogs were fed the MCTD (2·31/month, 0–9·89/month) in comparison with the placebo diet (2·67/month, 0·33–22·92/month, P=0·020); three dogs achieved seizure freedom, seven additional dogs had ≥50 % reduction in seizure frequency, five had an overall <50 % reduction in seizures (38·87 %, 35·68–43·27 %) and six showed no response. Seizure day frequency were also significantly lower when dogs were fed the MCTD (1·63/month, 0–7·58/month) in comparison with the placebo diet (1·69/month, 0·33–13·82/month, P=0·022). Consumption of the MCTD also resulted in significant elevation of blood β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations in comparison with placebo diet (0·041 (sd 0·004) v. 0·031 (sd 0·016) mmol/l, P=0·028). There were no significant changes in serum concentrations of glucose (P=0·903), phenobarbital (P=0·422), potassium bromide (P=0·404) and weight (P=0·300) between diet groups. In conclusion, the data show antiepileptic properties associated with ketogenic diets and provide evidence for the efficacy of the MCTD used in this study as a therapeutic option for epilepsy treatment.
Our goal was to perform a systematic review of the literature on the use of intravenous lidocaine in pediatrics for status epilepticus (SE) and refractory status epilepticus (RSE) to determine its impact on seizure control.
All articles from MEDLINE, BIOSIS, EMBASE, Global Health, HealthStar, Scopus, Cochrane Library, the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (inception to November 2014), and gray literature were searched. The strength of evidence was adjudicated using both the Oxford and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation methodologies by two independent reviewers.
Overall, 20 original studies were identified, with 19 manuscripts and one meeting abstract. Two hundred and thirty-five pediatric patients were treated for 252 episodes of SE/RSE. Patients had varying numbers of antiepileptic drugs (two to eight) on board before lidocaine therapy. During 20 of the 252 (7.9%) episodes of SE/RSE, phenytoin was on board. The dose regimen of lidocaine varied, with some using bolus dosing alone; others used a combination of bolus and infusion therapy. Overall, 60.0% of seizures responded to lidocaine, with complete cessation and greater than 50% reduction seen in 57.6% and 12.3%, respectively. Patient outcomes were sparingly reported.
There currently exists Oxford level 2b, Grading of Recommendations Assessment Developement, and Evaluation C evidence to support the consideration of lidocaine for SE and RSE in the pediatric population. Further prospective studies of lidocaine administration in this setting are warranted.
The amplitude of the cortically generated somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) is used to predict outcome in comatose patients. The relationship between epileptiform discharges and SSEP amplitude has not been elucidated in those patients.
Bilateral median nerve SSEP and electroencephalograph (EEG) studies were performed in a comatose patient (patient 1) 1 day after cardiac surgery and repeated 4 days later. He had tranexamic acid administered before and during surgery. Another comatose patient (patient 2) had the same studies performed 1 day after sustaining 10 minutes of pulseless electrical cardiac activity.
Both comatose patients had epileptiform discharges (on EEG) that were coincident with giant cortically generated SSEPs. In patient 1, the EEG and SSEP studies repeated 5 days postoperatively showed no epileptiform discharges, and the cortically generated SSEP amplitude was decreased (normalized) compared with that obtained one day postoperatively. He emerged from coma and had a good recovery. Patient 2 died shortly after EEG and SSEP testing.
Epileptiform discharges were associated with giant cortically generated median nerve SSEP amplitude (tranexamic acid was implicated in patient 1 and anoxic brain injury in patient 2). Accordingly, those who use the amplitude of cortically generated SSEPs for predicting outcome in comatose patients should consider the presence of epileptiform discharges (detected by EEG) as a potential confounding factor.
Background: In the 1990s, heavy kava use in Aboriginal communities was linked to reports of unusual neurological events which were often described as ‘fits’ or ‘seizures’. Kava use has also been associated with extra-pyramidal movements. We now raise the possibility that kava toxicity and kava withdrawal may be associated with grand mal seizures. This paper describes some of ’these “seizure” episodes’ in kava drinkers. Nine communities and associated homelands in the eastern Arnhem Land (Miwatj) region (Northern Territory, NT) including 7001 Aboriginal people of whom 4217 were over 15 years. Twenty-one kava users experienced 32 “seizure” episodes for which the date of occurrence and other data was recorded in notes in community health clinic files dating from the 1980s up to 1999 in a sample of the Miwatj population. Kava, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis use and petrol sniffing, year in which “seizure” occurred, notes of kava toxicity or withdrawal. Kava toxicity effects were suspected in 15 and withdrawal effects in six of 32 “seizure” episodes. In seven episodes impaired consciousness and abnormal movements were adequately documented to suggest grand mal seizures. The maximum number of “seizures” experienced was three and three individuals experienced this number between 1990 and 1999. One was a heavy kava user. Six other individuals experienced two “seizures” each and five of these were heavy users. Sixteen individuals experienced 19 “seizures” during 1994-1997 when kava supply may have reached its peak. Fifteen of the 21 individuals experiencing “seizures” were heavy users described locally as dja[aw'marama. The clinical data and the coincidence of peak supply with records of “seizures” suggest kava toxicity and withdrawal seizures may both occur with heavy kava use. Further systematic analysis is warranted to confirm this and to assess kava's effects with respect to possible confounders such as alcohol.