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White matter alterations in chromosomal disorders have been reported mainly in 18q–syndrome. Our aim was to evaluate white matter alterations in patients with chromosomal abnormalities detected through conventional cytogenetic techniques. Forty-four patients with chromosomal abnormalities, excluding trisomy 21, were diagnosed in our hospital between May 1999 and December 2002 (24 males, 20 females; mean age 6 years 4 months [SD 3 years 2 months], range 0 to 18 years). Of the 44 patients, 14 had brain magnetic resonance imaging (12 males, 2 females; mean age 4 years 2 months [SD 4 years 4 months]; five with sex chromosomal disorders [SCD] and nine with autosomal chromosomal disorders [ACD]). Of these 14 patients, eight (four with SCD and four with ACD) had abnormal white matter findings of similar patterns. These patients had pseudonodular, subcortical, and periventricular white matter high signal intensity images in T2, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences that were isolated or confluent. The images did not correlate with the neurological clinical state. Given that eight of the 14 patients showed these lesions, their prevalence in different chromosomal abnormalities appears to be high, even though they have not been well reported in the literature. To our knowledge, these alterations have never been described in SCD. We concluded that unknown factors related to the myelination processes may be localized in different chromosomes.
A neuropsychological assessment was conducted to study cognition, with emphasis on memory, information processing/learning ability, and executive functions in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). A group of 20 boys with DMD, aged 7 to 14 years (mean age 9 years 5 months, SD 2 years 2 months), was contrasted with 17 normally developing age-matched comparison individuals, using specific neuropsychological tests (Block Span, Digit Span, Story Recall, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Rey Complex Figure Test, Spatial Learning Test, Verbal Fluency, Trail Making Test, Tower of London, Memory for Faces, and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices). The DMD group performed significantly worse on all aspects of memory, learning, and executive functions. There was no significant difference in general intellectual ability between the two groups. Analyses of group differences indicate that problems in short-term memory are the most apparent, suggesting specific cognitive deficits. The differences between the groups were similar for both verbal–auditory and visuospatial tests, thus contradicting the idea that cognitive deficits are related to type of stimulus presented. It is concluded from this study that short-term memory deficits might play a critical role in the cognitive impairment and intellectual development seen in those with DMD.
Clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) is the mainstay of management in neuropathic vesicourethral dysfunction, both to improve continence and, more importantly, to preserve renal function. We looked at the effects of this procedure on children, adolescents, and their families. In particular, we wished to see if there were any differences between those who successfully catheterized and those who did not. Forty families were enrolled into the study. Ages of children and adolescents (23 females, 17 males) ranged from 1 to 20 years. Most participants (n=31) had spina bifida. Other causes of bladder dysfunction included transverse myelitis, spinal cord injury, and spinal neuroblastoma. Parents were assessed using the Effects of Handicap on Parents semi-structured interview, the Socioemotional Functioning Interview, and a semi-structured interview, specifically designed for the study, which looked at family characteristics and experience related to diagnosis and catheterization. In addition, the Rutter Parental ‘A’ Scale Questionnaire was used to screen for emotional and behavioural disorders in the child. Results showed that CIC by carer or self- catheterization itself did not cause major emotional and behavioural problems but the bladder problem may act as a focus that puts considerable strain family relationships. Although most parents disliked CIC they complied with the suggested management. It is important that all those involved understand the aims of management and success can be achieved by combined input from medical, psychological, and specialist nursing staff. The problem is lifelong and continued support from a multidisciplinary team is essential.
This paper describes part of larger study involving 40 families of children and adolescents with neuropathic bladder looking at the psychosocial impact of catheterization on them and their families. This study focuses on their experiences of clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) and self-catheterization (SC). Twenty-eight children and adolescents (11 males, 17 females; mean age 9 years, SD 2 years 7 months, range 5 to 20 years) with neuropathic bladder (mostly with spina bifida) participated in a semi-structured interview to explore their understanding of micturition and catheterization, and their views about the introduction and practical use of this technique. Participants were invited to draw self-portraits and figure diagrams to depict their understanding of CIC and SC. Age-appropriate self-esteem measures (Harter Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence, the Self-Perception Profile, and the Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory) were administered to see if catheterization status affected emotional well-being. In an extension of this study, children's experiences of SC were explored by a postal questionnaire to all children successfully using SC who were attending the Paediatric Neuropathic Bladder Clinic. Children aged <5 years, those with learning difficulties, and those using indwelling catheters were excluded. From a total sample of 66 (31 females, 35 males), 52 parents and 42 children and adolescents (28 females and 14 males) responded. No significant difference was observed in self-esteem for those successfully catheterizing. Specific challenges involved learning SC and practical use of the technique. Concerns were leakage and being wet, and peers finding out about their continence management. Implications for the education, problem solving, and support of families and young people to promote cooperation and optimal benefits from catheterization are discussed.
Attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while largely thought to be a genetic disorder, has environmental factors that appear to contribute significantly to the aetiopathogenesis of the disorder. One such factor is pretern birth with vulnerable cerebrovascular homeostasis. We hypothesised that cerebral ischaemia at birth could contribute to persistent deficient dopaminergic neurotransmission, which is thought to be the pathophysiological basis of the disorder. We examined dopamine D2/3 receptor binding with positron emission tomography (PET) using [11C] raclopride as a tracer, and continuous reaction times (RT) with a computerized test of variables (TOVA) in six adolescents (12–14 years of age, one female) who had been examined with cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements at preterm birth and had a subsequent history of attention deficit. We found that high dopamine receptor availability (‘empty receptors’) was linked with increased RT and RT variability, supporting the concept of a dopaminergic role in symptomatology. High dopamine receptor availability was predicted by low neonatal CBF, supporting the hypothesis of cerebral ischaemia as a contributing factor in infants susceptible to ADHD.
Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is a rare metabolic disease due to deficiency in the enzyme that breaks down branched chain amino acids. Lack of the enzyme causes accumulation of these amino acids and, if untreated, causes severe neurological damage. A case study of a 10-day old female infant, born after 40 weeks' gestation with a birthweight of 2740g with MSUD hospitalized in the acute stage with respiratory failure and severe brain oedema is described. As part of the neurological evaluation, auditory nerve brainstem evoked response testing was conducted and revealed bilateral presence of the first wave from the auditory nerve, with no later brainstem waves. Over the course of days when her condition improved following dialysis treatment and a diet to reach balanced levels of branched chain amino acids, the later brainstem waves appeared on one side, and several weeks later they were also observed on the other side. The possible mechanisms of the reversibility of the appearance of brainstem waves in this case are discussed.
The objective of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) Evidence Reports is to provide the biomedical research and clinical practice communities with the current state of evidence about various interventions for the management of developmental disabilities. The AACPDM evidence reports aggregate all that has been published about outcomes of an intervention for a medical condition, gauge the credibility (i.e. strength of the internal validity) of that evidence, and identify gaps in our scientific knowledge. Methodology for developing and procedures for approving these systematic reviews can be found on the internet at www.aacpdm.org in the AACPDM Database of Evidence Reports which contains initial and updated reports.
Interest in the area of cerebral palsy (CP) and electrical stimulation continues to grow because it has potential as a passive, non-invasive, home-based therapy, which is claimed to result in gains in strength and motor function. If proved effective it might provide an alternative to resistive exercise techniques for children with poor selective muscle control, or indeed it might improve treatment compliance in those children who find exercise programmes difficult. Unfortunately, early reports on the efficacy of this intervention are undermined by poor methodology. A lack of consensus on optimal treatment parameters and variation in the physical abilities of the participants further confound interpretation of the literature.