JNS.jpgThe OCTOBER issue of the Journal of the Neurological Sciences Vol 429 is now available online.


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Issue highlights

Visual fields and optical coherence tomography (OCT) in neuro-ophthalmology: Structure-function correlation

Visual field (VF) testing is an essential component of the neurological examination. The differential diagnosis of VF defects depends on relating this measure of afferent visual function to the structure of the visual pathway and optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an invaluable tool for detailed structural evaluation of the optic nerve and retina.

This review describes the ways in which interpretation of VF and OCT can be used together to increase the accuracy of the localization of lesions along the visual pathway. Lesions of the anterior visual pathway (originating in ganglion cells or nerve fibre layer of the retina or optic nerve) will typically produce defects that respect the horizontal midline, reflecting the arcuate path of the ganglion cell axons as they travel to the optic nerve.

OCT of peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer and ganglion cell complex (GCC) will typically demonstrate irreversible thinning in compressive and demyelinating lesions affecting anterior visual pathway. Chiasmal lesions produce highly localizable VF defects (junctional scotoma and bitemporal hemianopia) which correspond to the thinning of nasal portion of GCC. Lesions of the optic tract result in incongruous homonymous hemianopia on VF with corresponding hemianopic thinning on GCC developing within months. Lesions affecting optic radiations usually produce more congruous homonymous VF defects and can also produce homonymous thinning on GCC, however, this takes much longer to develop as trans-synaptic degeneration at the lateral geniculate body must occur.

History and current progress of chronic subdural hematoma

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is characterized by an encapsulated collection of old blood. Although CSDH has become the most frequent pathologic entity in daily neurosurgical practice, there are some unresolved research questions. In particular, the causes and recurrent risk factors of CSDH remain as an object of debate. The split of the dural border layer forms a few tiers of dural border cells over the arachnoid layer. Tissue plasminogen activator plays an important role as a key factor of defective coagulation.

Historically, CSDH has often been treated via burr hole craniostomy using a closed drainage system. Several different operative strategies and peri-operative strategies such as the addition of burr holes, addition of cavity irrigation, position of drain, or postural position, have been described previously. Although the direction of the drainage tube, residual air, low intensity of T1-weighted images on MRI, and niveau formation have been reported as risk factors for recurrence, antiplatelet or anticoagulant drug use has not yet been verified as a risk factor. Recently, pharmaceutical strategies, including atorvastatin, significantly improved the neurological function in CSDH patients.

Many case series, without randomization, have been reported; and given its promising result, several randomized clinical trials using pharmaceutical as well as operative and perioperative strategies were initiated to obtain sufficient data. In contrast, relatively fewer basic studies have achieved clinical applications in CSDH, although it is one of the most common clinical entities. Further scientific basic research may be essential for achieving a novel treatment strategy for CSDH.

The universal brain code a genetic mechanism for memory

We do not have an understanding of the fundamental mechanism of how information is stored and retrieved by the brain. A Universal Brain Code utilized for these functions is proposed here.

The basic tenent of the Code is that a memory engram is propagated and guided through the connectome by specific proteins/peptides embedded within the pre-synaptic neuronal membrane corresponding to information provided by afferent electrical currents to the pre-synaptic neuron. It is intended to provide a working approach to this central brain activity and begin the process of investigation based on these ideas which are new and unexplored.

Hyperdense middle cerebral artery sign and response to combination of mechanical Thrombectomy plus intravenous thrombolysis in acute stroke patients

Combining intra-arterial mechanical thrombectomy (IAMT) and intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) has shown to have an excellent recanalization rate and better clinical outcome in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients. Hyperdense middle cerebral artery sign (HMCAS) on pretreatment non-contrast head CT scan of AIS patients is one of the early ischemic radiological findings in middle cerebral artery territory AIS. We aimed to evaluate whether the presence of HMCAS predicts the outcome of AIS patients receiving combination therapy with IAMT and IVT.

We retrospectively reviewed medical records and cerebrovascular images of the patients treated with IAMT and IVT for AIS in our center. Patients with occlusion in the terminal internal carotid artery or middle cerebral artery on pretreatment CT angiogram of the head were included. Clinical outcome was compared between subjects with HMCAS and those without. Modified Rankin Score (mRS) and symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) were used as measures of efficacy and safety, respectively.