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This Month in Archives of Neurology
October 2008

This Month in Archives of Neurology

Arch Neurol. 2008;65(10):1278-1280. doi:10.1001/archneur.65.10.1278
Visuospatial Attention in Children

Smith and Chatterjee (page 1284) describe how visuospatial attention develops, is deployed, and can be damaged in children. Advances in cognitive neuroscience in recent years have provided insights into understanding orienting, lateralized attention, and global vs local processing. These important developmental findings are reviewed in relation to evaluations of children presenting to a pediatric neurologist.

Periventricular Leukomalacia

Deng and colleagues (page 1291) describe our present understanding of periventricular leukomalacia, the predominant form of brain injury and leading known cause of cerebral palsy and cognitive deficits in premature infants.

Friedreich Ataxia

Pandolfo (page 1296) reviews our current knowledge of the disease and how it is contributing to the development of therapeutic approaches.

Assessment of β-Amyloid in Frontal Cortical Brain Biopsy and by Positron Emission Tomography With Carbon 11–Labeled Pittsburgh Compound B

Leinonen and colleagues (page 1304) compare carbon 11–labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) findings in patients with or without β-amyloid (Aβ) in a frontal cortical biopsy. Their findings support the use of the noninvasive (11C)PiB PET in the assessment of Aβ deposition in the brain.

Sodium Oxybate for Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson Disease

Ondo and colleagues (page 1337) find that nocturnally administered sodium oxybate improved excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue in patients with Parkinson disease.

Restarting Anticoagulation After Warfarin-Associated Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Claassen and colleagues (page 1313) report that restarting treatment with warfarin in patients with a recent warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage is associated with a low risk of recurrence. Withholding warfarin is associated with a risk of thromboembolism.

Predictors of Outcome in Warfarin-Related Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Zubkov et al (page 1320) report that a lower level of consciousness at presentation and larger initial intracerebral hemorrhage volume predict poor prognosis in patients with warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage.

High-Throughput Microarray-Based Studies for Neurological Disorders

Takahashi et al (page 1326) have developed the methodologies for a microarray-based high-throughput resequencing system for the causative and disease-related genes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases. They show how this approach can be used to detect mutations in familial and sporadic cases of ALS and identify numerous novel variants associated with genetic risk. They show how this system of analysis serves as a milestone for translating the technological innovation of high-throughput resequencing directly into clinical practice.

Angiogenin Gene With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Paubel and colleagues (page 1333) report finding mutations in the angiogenin gene (ANG) in French patients with sporadic amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Their findings support the view of ANG gene mutations as a rare but widespread cause of ALS.

Potassium Channel Autoimmunity Mimicking Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Geschwind and colleagues (page 1341) describe a series of patients with clinical, radiologic, electrophysiologic, and laboratory findings of voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) autoantibody–associated encephalopathy that can be mistaken for those of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Thus, they point out that evaluating for VGKC autoantibodies may be warranted in patients with suspected CJD.

Brain magnetic resonance images of a patient with immunotherapy-responsive voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) autoimmunity and renal oncocytoma illustrate increased signal in the left anterior cingulate gyrus and insular cortex on diffusion-weighted imaging (A, arrows) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences (B and C, arrows). Indirect immunofluorescence testing of the patient's serum revealed IgG binding to VGKC-rich synapses in mouse cerebellar cortex (D). ML indicates molecular layer; GL, granular layer; PC, Purkinje cells (unstained).

Brain magnetic resonance images of a patient with immunotherapy-responsive voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) autoimmunity and renal oncocytoma illustrate increased signal in the left anterior cingulate gyrus and insular cortex on diffusion-weighted imaging (A, arrows) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences (B and C, arrows). Indirect immunofluorescence testing of the patient's serum revealed IgG binding to VGKC-rich synapses in mouse cerebellar cortex (D). ML indicates molecular layer; GL, granular layer; PC, Purkinje cells (unstained).

Vitamin D Deficiency in Parkinson and Alzheimer Disease

This is a report of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) in a Parkinson disease (PD) cohort with significantly higher prevalence of hypovitaminosis compared with healthy control subjects and patients with Alzheimer disease. These data of Evatt et al(page 1348) support a possible role of vitamin D insufficiency in Parkinson disease.

Parkinson Disease Associated With Glucocerebrosidase Mutations

Goker-Alpan and colleagues (page 1353) show that mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) are associated with a spectrum of parkinsonian phenotypes ranging from Parkinson disease to a less common phenotype of Lewy body dementia.

B-Cell Activating Factor and Myasthenia Gravis

Ragheb et al (page 1358) report that levels of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily are increased in patients with autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Their data suggest that BAFF is likely to play a role in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis by promoting the survival and maturation of autoreactive B cells.

Alcohol and Brain Volume

Paul et al (page 1363) find that, in contrast to studies on cardiovascular disease, moderate alcohol consumption was not protective against age-related differences in total brain volume. Rather, the more alcohol consumed, the smaller the total brain volume.

Association of GSK3B With Alzheimer Disease and Frontotemporal Disease

Schaffer et al (page 1368) provide data that GSK3B, a known tau kinase, is associated with risk for primary neurodegenerative dementias.

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