Tinnitus – Notice the noise less

Whether it’s a ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or a hissing noise, tinnitus (TIN-i-tus) is the label for those sounds you hear in your ear or head. It can range in severity from being only mildly annoying or temporary to being so loud and constant that it interferes with your ability to concentrate or get a good night’s sleep.

Occasionally tinnitus may be a sign of something serious, but usually it’s not. Still, the more irritating tinnitus becomes, the more it may result in fatigue and sleep problems, unwanted stress, memory problems, anxiety, depression, and irritability. For most people with tinnitus, there’s no cure. However, various management strategies may help reduce the amount of noise you hear, distract your attention from the tinnitus, or help you
find ways to mask the noise. [Read more…]

Concussion – The brain in crisis

Concussion injury — which is a form of traumatic brain injury — is commonplace on playing fields. Recent estimates indicate head trauma due to contact sports occurs nearly 3.8 million times a year in the U.S.

Concern has grown over concussion brain injuries in professional athletes as well as in teens and children. Youngsters — whose brains are still developing — are competing at ever-earlier ages in concussion-prone contact sports. The concern spotlights the need for more awareness of concussion dangers and how to prevent them.

A concussion occurs when there’s a blow to the head or a sudden jolt that shakes the head and causes the brain’s gelatin-like cortex to rapidly collide into or bounce off the inside of your skull or to rotate within it. When it occurs, the brain’s function is altered. Loss of consciousness may or may not happen, which is one of the reasons some concussions go unrecognized. [Read more…]

Chiari Malformation

chiari-malformation

Background

Chiari malformations, types I-IV, refer to a spectrum of congenital hindbrain abnormalities affecting the structural relationships between the cerebellum, brainstem, the upper cervical cord, and the bony cranial base.

History Of The Procedure

Although Cleland described the first cases of Chiari malformation in 1883, the disorder is named after Hans Chiari, an Austrian pathologist, who classified Chiari malformations into types I through III in 1891. Chiari’s colleague, Julius Arnold, made additional contributions to the definition of Chiari II malformation.[1] In his honor, students of Dr. Arnold later named the type II malformation Arnold-Chiari malformation. Other investigators later added the type IV malformation. [Read more…]

Botox may help multiple sclerosis tremors

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Botox injections may provide some relief from arm tremors caused by multiple sclerosis, according to a small study published Monday. Botulinum toxin type A is sold under different brands, but it’s best known by the Allergan brand-name Botox.

Botox gained fame for smoothing aging skin — by blocking nerve signals and relaxing muscles under the skin — but the product has a number of medical uses. In the U.S., Botox is approved to treat conditions like chronic migraine, excessive sweating and certain symptoms of MS: overactive bladder and muscles spasms in the arms.

The new study, published in the journal Neurology, tested the effects of Botox injections on MS-related arm tremors, which affect up to two-thirds of people with MS. Researchers found that when they gave injections to 23 patients, the treatment typically eased their tremors and improved their writing ability. [Read more…]

DNA Mapping of Alzheimer’s Patients Gives Deep Dive View

Over the past 18 months, 81-year-old Bill Bunnell has visited the doctor a half-dozen times to take memory tests, provide blood samples, and undergo a spinal tap and imaging scans. It’s all part of the most extensive study ever conducted on Alzheimer’s.

Now researchers are about to take an even closer look at Bunnell, a retired engineer from Madison, Connecticut.

Working with $2 million in new grants to be announced this week, the researchers for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative will, for the first time, start mapping the DNA of 800 participants in a study attempting to find the root causes of memory loss. The goal is to see if physical changes from Alzheimer’s can be matched to genetic disparities, which can then be compared with findings from healthy people like Bunnell. [Read more…]

The Natural Course of Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms in a Japanese Cohort

The natural history of unruptured cerebral aneurysms has not been clearly defined.

Methods

From January 2001 through April 2004, we enrolled patients with newly identified, unruptured cerebral aneurysms in Japan. Information on the rupture of aneurysms, deaths, and the results of periodic follow-up examinations were recorded. We included 5720 patients 20 years of age or older (mean age, 62.5 years; 68% women) who had saccular aneurysms that were 3 mm or more in the largest dimension and who initially presented with no more than a slight disability. [Read more…]

FDA OKs Lyrica for Spinal Cord Injury

By Cole Petrochko, Associate Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: June 21, 2012

The FDA has approved adding use in treatment of spinal cord injury to the indications for the neuropathic pain drug pregabalin (Lyrica).

The new indication makes pregabalin the first FDA-approved treatment for neuropathic pain from spinal cord injury, according to a statement from drug maker Pfizer.

The drug is already approved to treat diabetic nerve pain, pain after shingles, fibromyalgia, and partial-onset seizures in epileptic adults taking one or more seizure drugs. [Read more…]

Coffee May Ward Off Progression to Dementia

Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may be able to avoid developing dementia by drinking several cups of coffee a day, the results of a new study suggest.

The study showed that patients with MCI who have a plasma caffeine level of 1200 ng/mL avoided progression to dementia over the following 2 to 4 years.

These patients exhibited a plasma cytokine profile that was exactly the same as that of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) transgenic mice that were given caffeinated coffee and didn’t progress to dementia. It’s therefore very likely that it’s caffeine from coffee, and not from other sources, that affords the cognitive protection, said study senior author Gary W. Arendash, PhD, research scientist, Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida.

The research also suggests that certain cytokine patterns could signal for impending conversion to dementia among those with MCI, said Dr. Arendash. [Read more…]

Chronic Daily Headache in U.S. Soldiers After Concussion

Objective.— To determine the prevalence and characteristics of, and factors associated with, chronic daily headache (CDH) in U.S. soldiers after a deployment-related concussion.

Methods.— A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted with a cohort of 978 U.S. soldiers who screened positive for a deployment-related concussion upon returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. All soldiers underwent a clinical evaluation at the Madigan Traumatic Brain Injury Program that included a history, physical examination, 13-item self-administered headache questionnaire, and a battery of cognitive and psychological assessments. Soldiers with CDH, defined as headaches occurring on 15 or more days per month for the previous 3 months, were compared to soldiers with episodic headaches occurring less than 15 days per month. [Read more…]

Botulinum Toxin A for Chronic Migraine?

In a meta-analysis, benefits were modest. Botulinum toxin A is approved for prophylactic treatment of chronic migraine (≥15 headaches per month). The recommended regimen — 31 injections at specified sites in head and neck muscles — may be repeated at 12-week intervals. In a meta-analysis, researchers examined the effectiveness of botulinum toxin A prophylaxis for headaches. [Read more…]