Liver cirrhosis in patients newly diagnosed with neurological phenotype of Wilson's disease.
Authors: Przybyłkowski A, Gromadzka G, Chabik G, Wierzchowska A, Litwin T, Członkowska A Abstract Wilson's disease (WD) can manifest itself in different clinical forms, the neurological and hepatic ones being the most common. It is suggested that neurological signs and psychiatric symptoms develop secondary to liver involvement. The aim of this study was to characterize the liver disease in patients newly diagnosed with the neurological form of WD. Treatment-naive patients diagnosed with WD were classified into three phenotypic groups: hepatic, neurological and pre-symptomatic. Liver involvement was ascertained t...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

An observational retrospective/horizontal study to compare oxygen-ozone therapy and/or global postural re-education in complicated chronic low back pain.
Authors: Apuzzo D, Giotti C, Pasqualetti P, Ferrazza P, Soldati P, Zucco GM Abstract Acute low back pain (LBP) is the fifth most common reason for physician visits and about nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life. In a large number of patients LBP is associated with disc herniation (DH). Recently, oxygen-ozone (O2O3) therapy has been used successfully in the treatment of LBP, reducing pain after the failure of other conservative treatments. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of O2O3 therapy in back pain rehabilitation, comparing three groups of patients suffering from c...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Cerebellar theta burst stimulation in stroke patients with ataxia.
Authors: Bonnì S, Ponzo V, Caltagirone C, Koch G Abstract Evidence for effective improvement of the symptoms of cerebellar stroke is still limited. Here, we investigated the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the injured cerebellar hemisphere in six patients with posterior circulation stroke. We applied a two-week course of cerebellar intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS). Before and after the iTBS treatment, paired-pulse TMS methods were used to explore: i) the functional connectivity between the cerebellar hemisphere and the contralateral primary motor cortex ...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

How to assess abstract conceptual knowledge: construction, standardization and validation of a new battery of semantic memory tests.
We describe a new battery for assessing abstract concepts in brain-damaged patients. The battery includes three different tests: an association task, a multiplechoice naming-to-description task and a sentence completion task. The three tasks are based on the same 40 stimuli belonging to different categories of abstract concepts and they are tightly controlled for variables that can account for quantitative differences between abstract concepts (i.e. concreteness, imageability, context availability, familiarity, age of acquisition, mode of acquisition, emotional valence and arousal). The three tasks showed high reliability....
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Elman neural network for the early identification of cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease.
Authors: Bertè F, Lamponi G, Calabrò RS, Bramanti P Abstract Early detection of dementia can be useful to delay progression of the disease and to raise awareness of the condition. Alterations in temporal and spatial EEG markers have been found in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Herein, we propose an automatic recognition method of cognitive impairment evaluation based on EEG analysis using an artificial neural network (ANN) combined with a genetic algorithm (GA). The EEGs of 43 AD and MCI patients (aged between 62 and 88 years) were recorded, analyzed and co...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Hemifacial hyperhidrosis associated with ipsilateral/contralateral cervical disc herniation myelopathy. Functional considerations on how compression pattern determines the laterality.
We present five cases of hemifacial hyperhidrosis as a compensatory response to an/hypohidrosis caused by cervical disc herniation. All the patients complained of hemifacial hyperhidrosis, without anisocoria or blepharoptosis. Sweat function testing and thermography confirmed hyperhidrosis of hemifacial and adjacent areas. Neck MRI showed cervical disc herniation. Three of the patients had lateral compression with welldemarcated hypohidrosis below the hyperhidrosis on the same side as the cervical lesion. The rest had paramedian compression with poorly demarcated hyperhidrosis and hypohidrosis on the contralateral side. Al...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Epilepsy and phenylketonuria: a case description and EEG-fMRI findings.
Authors: Guida M, Pesaresi I, Fabbri S, Sartucci F, Cosottini M, Giorgi FS Abstract Phenylketonuria (PKU) is characterized by phenylalanine accumulation due to phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency. Up to 50% of PKU patients experience seizures. We evaluated an adult PKU patient who suffered from absences and primarily generalized tonicclonic seizures, associated with generalized spikeand-wave discharges (GSWs) on EEG. An analysis of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes during interictal epileptiform discharges showed early activation of the left perirolandic cortex followed by a BOLD signal decre...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Biofeedback rehabilitation of posture and weightbearing distribution in stroke: a center of foot pressure analysis.
Authors: De Nunzio AM, Zucchella C, Spicciato F, Tortola P, Vecchione C, Pierelli F, Bartolo M Abstract Weight bearing on the paretic lower extremity and transfer of weight from one lower extremity to the other are important goals of stroke rehabilitation. Improvements in these limb loading and weight transfer abilities have been shown to relate to improved performance of many functional activities. Unfortunately, valid and practical clinical measures of paretic lower extremity loading and weight transfer have not been identified. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess, through center of foot pressu...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Tako-tsubo syndrome as a consequence and cause of stroke.
Authors: Bersano A, Melchiorre P, Moschwitis G, Tavarini F, Cereda C, Micieli G, Parati E, Bassetti C Abstract Since tako-tsubo syndrome (TS) frequently appears soon after stroke (usually stroke involving the insular cortex), it is believed to be a consequence rather than a cause of stroke. Herein, we describe a 70-year-old woman presenting with a left middle cerebral artery stroke (involving the insular cortex) who developed a further contralateral ischemic stroke with concomitant detection of a transient intracardiac mural thrombus attributable to TS. It can reasonably be maintained that that in our patient insul...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Vascular factors in neurodegenerative diseases: a path towards treatment and prevention.
Authors: Román GC, Boller F PMID: 25167206 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Functional Neurology)
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Dispositional optimism, depression, disability and quality of life in Parkinson's disease.
In conclusion, high DO predicts a satisfactory quality of life, low emotional distress and reduced disease severity in PD. PMID: 25167207 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Functional Neurology)
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Auditory cortical activation and plasticity after cochlear implantation measured by PET using fluorodeoxyglucose.
Authors: Lukaszewicz-Moszyńska Z, Lachowska M, Niemczyk K Abstract The purpose of this study was to evaluate possible relationships between duration of cochlear implant use and results of positron emission tomography (PET) measurements in the temporal lobes performed while subjects listened to speech stimuli. Other aspects investigated were whether implantation side impacts significantly on cortical representations of functions related to understanding speech (ipsi- or contralateral to the implanted side) and whether any correlation exists between cortical activation and speech therapy results. Objective cortical ...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Long-lasting coma.
In this report, we describe the case of a patient who has remained in a comatose state for more than one year after a traumatic and hypoxic brain injury. This state, which we refer to as long-lasting coma (LLC), may be a disorder of consciousness with significantly different features from those of conventional coma, the vegetative state, or brain death. On the basis of clinical, neurophysiological and neuroimaging data, we hypothesize that a multilevel involvement of the ascending reticular activating system is required in LLC. This description may be useful for the identification of other patients suffering from this seve...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

High prevalence of incomplete right bundle branch block in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy without cardiac symptoms.
This study in cardiac asymptomatic FSHD patients shows i) increased prevalence of incomplete RBBB in the absence of cardiomyopathy; ii) no progression of these abnormalities during eight years of follow-up. We conclude that FSHD patients without cardiac complaints do not need specific cardiac screening or surveillance. Furthermore, the increased prevalence of incomplete RBBB in the absence of cardiomyopathy suggests a selective involvement of the His-Purkinje system in FSHD. PMID: 25264980 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Functional Neurology)
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Chronobiological correlates of headache: three decades on.
Authors: V M, Nappi G Abstract In 1983 an international symposium entitled "Chronobiological Correlates of Headache" was held in Capri. This meeting provided an opportunity to debate new and stimulating aspects of headache, in particular the temporal pattern of headache and the periodicity of the underlying biological and environmental phenomena. Giuseppe Nappi presented his dyschronic hypothesis of primary headaches, which was based on the observation that these conditions involve not only a dysfunction in pain control systems, but also a vulnerability of the rhythmic physiological organization of the ce...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Neuroimaging-based methods for autism identification: a possible translational application?
Authors: Retico A, Tosetti M, Muratori F, Calderoni S Abstract Classification methods based on machine learning (ML) techniques are becoming widespread analysis tools in neuroimaging studies. They have the potential to enhance the diagnostic power of brain data, by assigning a predictive index, either of pathology or of treatment response, to the single subject's acquisition. ML techniques are currently finding numerous applications in psychiatric illness, in addition to the widely studied neurodegenerative diseases. In this review we give a comprehensive account of the use of classification techniques applied to s...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Migraine in men: fact sheet. A publication to mark European Migraine Day of Action 2014.
Authors: Rossi P, Nappi G PMID: 25290822 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Functional Neurology)
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Vascular factors in neurodegenerative diseases: a path towards treatment and prevention.
Authors: Román GC, Boller F PMID: 25306117 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Functional Neurology)
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Altered information processing in children with focal epilepsies with and without intellectual disability.
Authors: Japaridze N, Schark M, von-Ondarza G, Boor R, Muhle H, Gerber WD, Stephani U, Siniatchkin M Abstract The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate the relationship between focal interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs), intellectual disability and cortical information processing in children with partial epilepsy. Two groups of patients - Group 1 (n = 9 patients) with focal IEDs and normal IQ and Group 2 (n = 10 patients) with focal IEDs and intellectual disability - were compared with 14 healthy control participants. A computerized choice reaction time task (go/no-go paradigm) was performed and eve...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

"Masters and servants" in parkinsonian gait: a three-dimensional analysis of biomechanical changes sensitive to disease progression.
"Masters and servants" in parkinsonian gait: a three-dimensional analysis of biomechanical changes sensitive to disease progression. Funct Neurol. 2014 Apr-Jun;29(2):99-105 Authors: Albani G, Cimolin V, Fasano A, Trotti C, Galli M, Mauro A Abstract Gait disorder is a very frequent and disabling symptom in Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this study was to identify the main kinetic and kinematic features of PD gait according to different disease stages: early (Early Group), intermediate without freezing (Non-Freezers) and intermediate with freezing (Freezers). Kinematic data showed a dista...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Driving habits in patients with dementia: a report from Alzheimer's disease assessment units in northern Italy.
Authors: Mauri M, Sinforiani E, Cuzzoni MG, Bono G, Zucchella C Abstract The aim of this study was to characterize the driving behavior of a sample of patients with dementia. Demographic and clinical characteristics and parameters considered to be the most significant predictors of driving ability were collected. Of the total 198 patients enrolled, 172 were still driving. Many subjects (30-65%) were found to have modified their driving habits (reducing driving time and mileage, avoiding driving at night and during rush hours, sticking to familiar routes). The patients' own rating of their driving ability was signif...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Dispositional optimism, depression, disability and quality of life in Parkinson's disease.
In conclusion, high DO predicts a satisfactory quality of life, low emotional distress and reduced disease severity in PD. PMID: 25306121 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Functional Neurology)
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Auditory cortical activation and plasticity after cochlear implantation measured by PET using fluorodeoxyglucose.
Authors: Lukaszewicz-Moszyńska Z, Lachowska M, Niemczyk K Abstract The purpose of this study was to evaluate possible relationships between duration of cochlear implant use and results of positron emission tomography (PET) measurements in the temporal lobes performed while subjects listened to speech stimuli. Other aspects investigated were whether implantation side impacts significantly on cortical representations of functions related to understanding speech (ipsi- or contralateral to the implanted side) and whether any correlation exists between cortical activation and speech therapy results. Objective cortical ...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Biofeedback rehabilitation of posture and weightbearing distribution in stroke: a center of foot pressure analysis.
Authors: De Nunzio AM, Zucchella C, Spicciato F, Tortola P, Vecchione C, Pierelli F, Bartolo M Abstract Weight bearing on the paretic lower extremity and transfer of weight from one lower extremity to the other are important goals of stroke rehabilitation. Improvements in these limb loading and weight transfer abilities have been shown to relate to improved performance of many functional activities. Unfortunately, valid and practical clinical measures of paretic lower extremity loading and weight transfer have not been identified. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess, through center of foot pressu...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Tako-tsubo syndrome as a consequence and cause of stroke.
Authors: Bersano A, Melchiorre P, Moschwitis G, Tavarini F, Cereda C, Micieli G, Parati E, Bassetti C Abstract Since tako-tsubo syndrome (TS) frequently appears soon after stroke (usually stroke involving the insular cortex), it is believed to be a consequence rather than a cause of stroke. Herein, we describe a 70-year-old woman presenting with a left middle cerebral artery stroke (involving the insular cortex) who developed a further contralateral ischemic stroke with concomitant detection of a transient intracardiac mural thrombus attributable to TS. It can reasonably be maintained that that in our patient insul...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Can robot-assisted movement training (Lokomat) improve functional recovery and psychological well-being in chronic stroke? Promising findings from a case study.
We describe the case of a 54-yearold female with post-stroke moderate-to-severe chronic hemiplegia, whose force, gait and balance significantly improved after intensive training with Lokomat Pro. We also noted a positive impact of Lokomat on mood and coping styles. This may be partly related to the task-oriented exercises with computerized visual feedback, which in turn can be considered an important tool for increasing patients' motor output, involvement and motivation during gait training. Augmented feedback during robot-assisted gait appears to be a promising way of facilitating gait and physical function, but also of i...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Cortical spreading depression: origins and paths as inferred from the sequence of events during migraine aura.
We report five cases of migraineurs who experience unusually abundant clinical phenomena during auras. These patients were selected from a cohort of migraine with aura patients who were interviewed, using a specially designed questionnaire, to evaluate the presence of higher cortical dysfunctions. On the basis of the aura symptoms they reported, we attempted to infer the origin and the possible paths of CSD in each patient. According to their reported symptoms, CSD could begin in the primary visual cortex, in the primary somatosensory cortex or simultaneously in both, and propagate to the posterior parietal cortex, the tem...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis and rehabilitation in patients with complete facial palsy: cohort study of 30 patients followed up for three years.
Authors: Dalla Toffola E, Pavese C, Cecini M, Petrucci L, Ricotti S, Bejor M, Salimbeni G, Biglioli F, Klersy C Abstract Our study evaluates the grade and timing of recovery in 30 patients with complete facial paralysis (House-Brackmann grade VI) treated with hypoglossal-facial nerve (XII-VII) anastomosis and a long-term rehabilitation program, consisting of exercises in facial muscle activation mediated by tongue movement and synkinesis control with mirror feedback. Reinnervation after XII-VII anastomosis occurred in 29 patients, on average 5.4 months after surgery. Three years after the anastomosis, 23.3% of pati...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex enhances memory-guided responses in a visuospatial working memory task.
Authors: Giglia G, Brighina F, Rizzo S, Puma A, Indovino S, Maccora S, Baschi R, Cosentino G, Fierro B Abstract Several studies have shown that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is able to enhance performances on verbal and visual working memory (WM) tasks. Available evidence points to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a critical area in visual WM, but to date direct comparisons of the effects obtained by stimulating the left versus the right DLPFC in the same subject are lacking. Our aim was to determine whether tDCS over the right DLPFC can differently affect performance as compared...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Health-related quality of life after traumatic brain injury: Italian validation of the QOLIBRI.
We report the results of the Italian validation of the QOLIBRI. A total of 147 participants with TBI who had previously been discharged from the Santa Lucia Foundation rehabilitation hospital were recruited to investigate the concurrent validity of the Italian version of the QOLIBRI and to compare this instrument with several functional and cognitivebehavioral scales, taking into account various clinical parameters. The QOLIBRI met the standard criteria for internal consistency, homogeneity and test-retest reliability. The results suggest that it is very sensitive in relation to outcome as measured by the Extended Glasgow ...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Serious games for screening pre-dementia conditions: from virtuality to reality? A pilot project.
Authors: Zucchella C, Sinforiani E, Tassorelli C, Cavallini E, Tost-Pardell D, Grau S, Pazzi S, Puricelli S, Bernini S, Bottiroli S, Vecchi T, Sandrini G, Nappi G Abstract Conventional cognitive assessment is based on a pencil-and-paper neuropsychological evaluation, which is time consuming, expensive and requires the involvement of several professionals. Information and communication technology could be exploited to allow the development of tools that are easy to use, reduce the amount of data processing, and provide controllable test conditions. Serious games (SGs) have the potential to be new and effective tools...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Knowledge of electromyography (EMG) in patients undergoing EMG examinations.
Authors: Mondelli M, Aretini A, Greco G Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate knowledge of electromyography (EMG) in patients undergoing the procedure. In one year, 1,586 consecutive patients (mean age 56 years; 58.8% women) were admitted to two EMG labs to undergo EMG for the first time. The patients found to be "informed" about the how an EMG examination is performed and about the purpose of EMG numbered 448 (28.2%), while those found to be "informed" only about the manner of its execution or only about its purpose numbered 161 (10.2%) and 151 (9.5%), respectively. The remaining 826 (...
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research

Motor conduction measurement in myelopathy hand.
Authors: Shibuya R, Wada E, Iwasaki M, Yonenobu K, Yoshikawa H Abstract We studied the relationship between intramedullary high signal intensity (IMHSI) on T2-weighted magnetic resonance images and motor conduction in the spinal cords of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) patients. There was no significant difference between the biceps or triceps central motor conduction times (CMCTs) of the patients who did and did not exhibit IMHSI, whereas the abductor pollicis brevis CMCT was significantly longer in the patients who exhibited IMHSI (p
Source: Functional Neurology - December 2, 2014 Category: Neurology Tags: Funct Neurol Source Type: research