Neuro

A New Take on Quitting Smoking…

January 26, 2007
A New Take on Quitting Smoking…

Landing on the front page of the New York Times today is a study from Science that may turn addiction medicine on its head…no pun intended.   Of 32 smokers who had suffered a brain injury, they found that 16 who had suffered damage to the insula were easily able to quit smoking almost fully disrupting their smoking behavior in comparison to the other 16 who had suffered damage elsewhere.  The insula is a region of the brain that has been previously implicated in…

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Morning Report-A Frequently Overlooked Diagnosis

December 28, 2006
Morning Report-A Frequently Overlooked Diagnosis

A 57 year old female  with a past medical history of hypertension, obesity, remote intravenous drug use and several years of chronic low back pain, with both intermittent radiation to her lower extremities  and decreased sensation in her lower extremities  presented with an acute worsening of the pain in her lower back.  The patient reported that she was awakened from sleep and "had to crawl to the bathroom," because of the pain.  She was febrile on admission with moderate lower spine tenderness.  She was…

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When Can You Safely Anticoagulate a Patient after an Intracranial Hemorrhage?

December 15, 2006
When Can You Safely Anticoagulate a Patient after an Intracranial Hemorrhage?

55 year old white male falls down a flight of stairs and sustains a subdural hemorrhage and a subarachnoid hemorhage with significant neurological changes. Hospital course was notable for 1 episode of chest pain without ekg changes and negative cardiac enzymes.  The patient was seen several months later in medicine clinic with resolution of his neurologic findings but now with multiple episodes of chest pain.  He was sent for a stress test which showed a mild reversible anterior wall defect, with normal left ventricle and…

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Should You Recommend Surgery or Conservative Care for Disc Herniation?

November 29, 2006
Should You Recommend Surgery or Conservative Care for Disc Herniation?

In the November 22nd issue of JAMA, the results of two studies from the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT) on lumbar disk surgery for persistent radicular pain are reported.  Both these studies sought to assess the efficacy of surgery for lumbar disk herniation as compared to nonoperative treatment, including counseling, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and physical therapy. It is important to note that specific inclusion criteria were radicular pain as well as imaging showing disk herniation.  Because a large number of study participants declined randomization,…

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Improving Stroke Recovery-The EXCITE Trial

November 9, 2006
Improving Stroke Recovery-The EXCITE Trial

The EXCITE trial was the lead article in last week’s JAMA. It looks at a 2 week program of contstraint induced movement therapy vs. usual care in patients suffering a cva within the previous 3-9 months. Pt’s in the treatment arm wore a restraining mitt on the less-affected hand and engaged in tasks/behaviors with the hemiplegic hand. This group was compared to a control group with usual care. Measures of performance time and motor function ability all showed clinically relevant improvements that persisted out…

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Syncope W/U

November 1, 2006
Syncope W/U

Don’t forget to ask your patients whether they recently attended a screening of Saw III when they are admitted with syncope…

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