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Current Opinion in Neurology

T George Hornby, Jennifer L Moore, Linda Lovell, Elliot J Roth
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Research findings from the fields of motor learning and exercise physiology suggest specific training parameters that can be manipulated during physical rehabilitation profoundly influence skilled task performance. This review details the rationale for some of these training variables and their application in selected intervention studies focused on improving walking function in patients poststroke. RECENT FINDINGS: Basic and applied studies have shown that the amount, intensity, and variability of specific task practice applied during rehabilitation interventions can affect recovery of walking poststroke...
October 19, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Rainer von Coelln, Lisa M Shulman
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent studies on clinical, genetic and pathological heterogeneity of Parkinson disease have renewed the old debate whether we should think of Parkinson disease as one disease with variations, or as a group of independent diseases that happen to present with similar phenotypes. Here, we provide an overview of where the debate is coming from, and how recent findings in clinical subtyping, genetics and clinico-pathological correlation have shaped this controversy over the last few years...
October 5, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Russell L Margolis, Dobrila D Rudnicki
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2) is a rare, progressive, autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder that genetically, clinically, and pathologically closely resembles Huntington's disease. We review HDL2 pathogenic mechanisms and examine the implications of these mechanisms for Huntington's disease and related diseases. RECENT FINDINGS: HDL2 is caused by a CTG/CAG repeat expansion in junctophilin-3. Available data from cell and animal models and human brain suggest that HDL2 is a complex disease in which transcripts and proteins expressed bidirectionally from the junctophilin-3 locus contribute to pathogenesis through both gain-and loss-of-function mechanisms...
October 5, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Antonello Baldassarre, Lenny E Ramsey, Joshua S Siegel, Gordon L Shulman, Maurizio Corbetta
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: An important challenge in neurology is identifying the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral deficits after brain injury. Here, we review recent advances in understanding the effects of focal brain lesions on brain networks and behavior. RECENT FINDINGS: Neuroimaging studies indicate that the human brain is organized in large-scale resting state networks (RSNs) defined via functional connectivity, that is the temporal correlation of spontaneous activity between different areas...
October 5, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Rachael L Cohen, Russell L Margolis
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 12 (SCA12) is a rare autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease characterized by tremor, gait abnormalities, and neuropsychiatric syndromes. The location of the causative CAG/CTG expansion mutation in PPP2R2B, a gene encoding regulatory units of the protein phosphatase 2A, may provide unique insights into the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. RECENT FINDINGS: The first neuropathological examination of a brain from an SCA12 patient revealed both cerebellar and cerebral cortical atrophy, with a noted loss of Purkinje cells and no evidence of polyglutamine aggregates...
September 29, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Joachim Liepert
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article evaluates whether specific drugs are able to facilitate motor recovery after stroke or improve the level of consciousness, cognitive, or behavioral symptoms after traumatic brain injury. RECENT FINDINGS: After stroke, serotonin reuptake inhibitors can enhance restitution of motor functions in depressed as well as in nondepressed patients. Erythropoietin and progesterone administered within hours after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury failed to improve the outcome...
September 28, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Andreas F Hottinger, Monika E Hegi, Brigitta G Baumert
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The management of patients suffering from low-grade gliomas (LGGs) remains a challenge in absence of a definite curative therapy. The median survival is highly variable, from 2 years (high-risk disease) to over 15 years (low risk). The aim of this review is to provide a practical step-by-step evaluation of the available treatment options for patients with LGGs. RECENT FINDINGS: Next to clinical prognostic markers, both the isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation status and the status of 1p/19q codeletion are key prognostic factors for the optimal management of patients with LGG...
September 26, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Craig Nolan, Lisa M DeAngelis
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to provide a practical clinical approach to confusion in the patient with cancer. Confusion in the cancer population has a broader differential diagnosis than in the general medical population. The clinician must consider the usual differential diagnoses as well as causes unique to the cancer patient including direct complications from the cancer and indirect complications related to cancer treatment. RECENT FINDINGS: In the recent age of precision medicine, the oncologist now utilizes the genomic profile of both the patient and the tumor to provide advanced biologic therapies including targeted anticancer drugs, antiangiogenic agents, and immunotherapy...
September 26, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Emilie Le Rhun, Evanthia Galanis
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review recent original data on leptomeningeal metastases in patients with solid cancer. RECENT FINDINGS: Lung and breast cancer as well as melanoma remain the most common primaries. Advanced cytological methods and targeted sequencing for candidate tumor-specific mutations may improve the sensitivity of cerebrospinal fluid diagnostics in leptomeningeal metastases. Targeted treatments like epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors for non-small cell lung cancer, anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 treatments for breast cancer or B-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma-targeted or immunotherapy for melanoma have an emerging role in the management of this condition...
September 22, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Michela Pievani, Lorenzo Pini, Stefano F Cappa, Giovanni B Frisoni
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is increasingly used in the field of dementia as a therapeutic option; however, evidence of clinical efficacy is limited, and the mechanism of action remains unknown. This review summarizes how functional imaging could contribute to the design of targeted and effective NIBS interventions for dementia. RECENT FINDINGS: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has largely contributed to understanding brain dysfunction in dementia by identifying disease-specific networks...
September 22, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Michelle Ploughman, Liam P Kelly
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Converging evidence from animal models of stroke and clinical trials suggests that aerobic exercise has effects across multiple targets. RECENT FINDINGS: The subacute phase is characterized by a period of heightened neuroplasticity when aerobic exercise has the potential to optimize recovery. In animals, low intensity aerobic exercise shrinks lesion size and reduces cell death and inflammation, beginning 24 h poststroke. Also in animals, aerobic exercise upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor near the lesion and improves learning...
September 21, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Andreas F Hottinger
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In recent years, advances in the understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of the immune system has led to the development of new approaches for cancer treatment. Currently, immune checkpoint inhibitors are the first successful examples of this approach and several agents that target cytotoxic lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) have been approved for various oncologic situations. The aim of this review is to describe the neurologic adverse event profiles for these new immune therapeutic approaches and to discuss their appropriate management...
September 20, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Andreas F Hottinger
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 20, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Filip Scheperjans
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Gastrointestinal dysfunction is highly prevalent in Parkinson's disease and may precede motor symptoms by more than a decade. It has been proposed that the neurodegenerative cascade may actually be initiated in the gut with subsequent spreading to the brain and that gut microbiota could be involved in this process. This review provides a short introduction into the methodology of microbiome-wide association studies and discusses the recently published first comprehensive assessments of gut microbiota in Parkinson's disease...
September 20, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Bruce H Dobkin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 17, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Christian Grefkes, Gereon R Fink
PURPOSE: We here provide an update about studies published recently in the field of noninvasive neuromodulation of the motor system, aiming at facilitating recovery of function after stroke. RECENT FINDINGS: A number of longitudinal studies have confirmed that repeated stimulation of the motor cortex in combination with motor training improves performance compared with control or sham stimulation. In the early postacute stroke phase, enhancement of ipsilesional motor cortex excitability by means of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) seems to be a well tolerated and effective strategy to promote motor recovery...
September 17, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Bruce H Dobkin
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Rehabilitation trials and postacute care to lessen impairments and disability after stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury almost never include training to promote long-term self-management of skills practice, strengthening and fitness. Without behavioral training to develop self-efficacy, clinical trials, and home-based therapy may fail to show robust results. RECENT FINDINGS: Behavioral theories about self-management and self-efficacy for physical activity have been successfully incorporated into interventions for chronic diseases, but rarely for neurologic rehabilitation...
September 6, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Stephanie Efthymiou, Andreea Manole, Henry Houlden
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Neuromuscular diseases are clinically and genetically heterogeneous and probably contain the greatest proportion of causative Mendelian defects than any other group of conditions. These disorders affect muscle and/or nerves with neonatal, childhood or adulthood onset, with significant disability and early mortality. Along with heterogeneity, unidentified and often very large genes require complementary and comprehensive methods in routine molecular diagnosis. Inevitably, this leads to increased diagnostic delays and challenges in the interpretation of genetic variants...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Alexander M Rossor, Pedro J Tomaselli, Mary M Reilly
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is one of the commonest inherited neuromuscular diseases with a population prevalence of 1 in 2500. This review will cover recent advances in the genetics and pathomechanisms of CMT and how these are leading to the development of rational therapies. RECENT FINDINGS: Pathomechanistic and therapeutic target advances in CMT include the identification of the ErbB receptor signalling pathway as a therapeutic target in CMT1A and pharmacological modification of the unfolded protein response in CMT1B...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
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