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Seminars in Neurology

Jeoffrey Hill, Daniel P Alford
In the United States, there is a prescription medication misuse crisis including increases in unintentional drug overdose deaths, medications obtained on the illicit market (i.e., diversion), and in the number of individuals seeking treatment for addiction to prescription medications. Neurologists manage patients suffering from conditions (e.g., pain, seizures, spasticity) where the prescriptions of medications with misuse potential are indicated. It is therefore imperative that neurologists understand which medications are liable to misuse and institute strategies to minimize the harm associated with these medications...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Amanda Macone, James A D Otis
Neuropathic pain management is challenging, and typically requires a multifaceted approach. There are several treatment options, both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic. Of the available pharmacologic agents, those with the strongest supporting evidence include tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and certain antiseizure agents. There is emerging evidence for the use of cannabinoids, but conclusive studies are not available. Nonpharmacologic therapies that have been utilized in the management of neuropathic pain include acupuncture, massage therapy, and reflexology...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Jason L Weller, Douglas Comeau, James A D Otis
Myofascial pain syndromes arise from acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain and often have a referred neuropathic component. It affects more than three quarters of the world's population and is one of the most important and overlooked causes of disability. The origins of pain are thought to reside anywhere between the motor end plate and the fibrous outer covering of the muscle, with involvement of microvasculature and neurotransmitters at the cellular level. Diagnosis is made by clinical examination for the presence of myofascial trigger points, though some ancillary tests may provide supportive evidence...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Ekta A Patel, Michael D Perloff
Back pain is a top primary and urgent care complaint; radicular pain can be caused by herniation of the nucleus pulposus (intervertebral disc), spinal stenosis, or degenerative changes to the vertebrae. The focus of this clinical review will be the clinical approach and treatment of lumbar radicular pain, cervical radicular pain, and spinal stenosis. Usually localized through neurological history, exam, and imaging, specific signs and symptoms for lumbar radicular, spinal stenosis, and cervical radicular pain can help determine etiology...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Elie Sader, Melissa Rayhill
Headache is a neurologic disorder that displays gender dichotomy. It is well established that there is a strong link between migraine headache and sex hormones, specifically estrogen, which influences the severity of migraines during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Furthermore, the epidemiology of headaches during pregnancy and the postpartum period is very distinct from that in males or nonpregnant females, in part due to the hemodynamic and hematologic changes that occur during pregnancy. These changes put women at higher risk for cerebral venous thrombosis, hemorrhagic stroke, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy like preeclampsia, eclampsia, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Brigid Dwyer
Posttraumatic headaches are among the most challenging complaints after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). They are a debilitating problem experienced by patients after TBI of all severities. Up to 90% of mild TBI patients experience headache, particularly if female and with a premorbid history of primary headache. Tension headache has classically been the most common subtype, but in military populations migraine has dominated. Posttraumatic headache encompasses a spectrum of headache types that overlap heavily with common primary headache disorders, but also autonomic cephalgias as well as several secondary headache conditions...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Azmin Kahriman, Shuhan Zhu
Migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) are common primary disorders that carry significant morbidity and socioeconomic effect. In this article, we will review the epidemiology, presentation, and diagnosis of these disorders. First-line acute treatment for migraine consists of analgesics, triptans, and antiemetics, while nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the mainstay treatment for TTH. Patients with frequent or chronic headaches warrant prophylactic therapy. For migraine, various classes of preventives can be used (β-blockers, tricyclics, antiepileptics, botulinum toxin), with the choice of therapy tailored to the patient's risk factors and symptoms...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Brian E McGeeney
The trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias are a group of distinct primary headache disorders that share common characteristics of strict unilateral headache often accompanied by unilateral cranial autonomic features. Cluster headache is the most well-known example, but other than neurologists, practitioners often have limited familiarity with these disorders and treatment options. Delays in diagnosis are typical and treatment options remain suboptimal, associated with limited scientific research into these brain disorders...
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Shuhan Zhu, James Otis
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
David M Greer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Nathaniel M Robbins
A conflict of interest (COI) exists when a physician's professional responsibilities are compromised by personal or financial relationships. COIs between physicians and the pharmaceutical or medical device industry (Industry) are common. Collaborations with Industry have many potential benefits, but also raise potential ethical pitfalls. Industry-related COIs have widespread influence on medical education, research, and clinical practice, and therefore have profound implications for the integrity of the field of medicine...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Lisa Kearns, Alison Bateman-House, Arthur Caplan
Patients who suffer from life-threatening illnesses or are stricken with conditions that could result in serious morbidity who have exhausted all appropriate treatments may choose to try, through the Food and Drug Administration's expanded access program, an investigational drug or device in development. The program has succeeded for decades in allowing patients to access potentially helpful but still experimental agents. Nevertheless, the administration of investigational drugs outside of clinical trials raises several ethical issues...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Ariane Lewis
Although the concept of death by neurologic criteria is accepted throughout much of the world and death can legally be determined by neurologic criteria throughout the United States, the process is fraught with contentious ethical and legal controversies. I explore historic and contemporary ethical and legal disputes about determination of death by neurologic criteria including the need for consent from patients' surrogates prior to determination of death, the role of religion in determination of death, management of objections to determination of death by neurologic criteria, the approach to patients who are dead by neurologic criteria but are pregnant, and gamete retrieval after determination of death...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
K Brizzi, C J Creutzfeldt
Neuropalliative care is a new and growing field within neurology that focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with serious neurologic illnesses. While specialty-level palliative care training is available to interested neurologists, all neurologists can strive to provide primary palliative care for their patients. In this review, we will describe the scope of neuropalliative care, define patient populations who may benefit from palliative care, and explore the communication and symptom management skills essential to palliative care delivery...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Laura Cifrese, Fred Rincon
As medical decisions fall under more scrutiny and society demands increasing transparency of care, it is likely that more opportunities for conflicts will emerge. Similarly, with increasing demand and a static supply, the issue of who receives treatment and for how long naturally will arise. This mismatch leads to discussions of resource utilization and limitation of care in light of patients' values and rights. Clinicians should always be forthcoming with the uncertainty of prognostication while also articulating the severity of a patient's disease in relation to the risk and benefits of an intervention...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Mackenzie Graham, Colin P Doherty, Lorina Naci
Robust prognostic indicators of neurological recovery are urgently needed for acutely comatose patients. Functional neuroimaging is a highly sensitive tool for uncovering covert cognition and awareness in behaviorally nonresponsive patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness, and may be applicable to acutely comatose patients. Establishing a link between early detection of covert awareness in acutely comatose patients and eventual recovery of function could have significant implications for patient prognosis, treatment, and end-of-life decisions...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Spencer Septien, Michael A Rubin
Consciousness defines our humanity more than any other biologic phenomena that a clinician might be called upon to examine, diagnose, or treat. When family comes to the bedside of a patient, they hope to find them talking, thinking, and feeling. The complexity of consciousness allows an expansive gradation of dysfunction such that we must consider numerous potential insults, possible interventions, and often an unknown likelihood of recovery. As value-laden questions are more often in the hands of surrogate decision makers, the neurologist is given the herculean task of not only diagnosing and treating alterations of consciousness but also predicting the likely course of the disease to empower surrogates to make a choice most consistent with the preferences of the patient...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Neil H Vaishnav, Winston Chiong
The doctrine of informed consent sits at the intersection of law, ethics, and neuroscience, posing unique challenges for human subject research involving neurological patients. These challenges are compounded by the variegated nature of both neurological injury and the law governing research consent. This article provides a framework for investigators likely to encounter subjects with some degree of neurological impairment, whose capacity to consent requires scrupulous assessment prior to enrollment in research trials...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
Abigail Lang, Erin Talati Paquette
When caring for minors, the clinician-patient relationship becomes more ethically complex by the inclusion of parents in the clinician-parent-patient triad. As they age, children become more capable of participating in the decision-making process. This involvement may lead them to either accept or refuse proposed care, both of which are ethically acceptable positions when the minor's capacity to participate in decision making is carefully considered in the context of their age, development, and overall health...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
James A Russell
Physician-hastened-death remains a controversial topic for patients and those who care for them. It is a particularly relevant topic for neurologists who currently, or will in the future, reside in jurisdictions where physician-hastened-death is legal. In this article, I attempt to provide a comprehensive and contemporary discussion of hastened-death issues in a measured and respectful fashion. My goal is to provide clinicians with the information necessary to mold their own judgment and conscience in preparation for a time in which one or more of their patients request their participation in physician-hastened-death...
October 2018: Seminars in Neurology
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