30 research outputs found

    Manganese toxicity with ephedrone abuse manifesting as parkinsonism: a case report

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    Introduction: Neurologic consequences of manganese toxicity have been recognized since 1837. A new form of presumed manganese poisoning has been reported in drug addicted persons from Eastern Europe and the Baltic states who have intravenously injected self-prepared methcathinone hydrochloride (ephedrone), which is synthesized from pseudoephedrine hydrochloride using potassium permanganate as a potent oxidant. This clinical syndrome is under-recognized in Western Europe and there are no reported cases in the literature from Ireland. Case presentation: We report a 30-year-old Eastern European man who presented with a two-year history of gait disturbance. A neurological assessment revealed features of parkinsonism which included hypophonia, hypomimia, mild bradykinesia and rigidity with no resting tremor. He held his arms slightly abducted from his sides when walking, with a reduction in arm swing. Magnetic resonance imaging of his brain showed a high signal on T1 in the globus pallidus and serum manganese levels were raised. He had no response to levodopa. Conclusion: Manganism secondary to ephedrone abuse causing parkinsonism has emerged in Western Europe in recent years due to mass immigration and often remains unrecognized. This paper highlights the various features of this rare cause of parkinsonism and aids in its recognition and subsequent diagnosis. Neurologists in Western Europe will increasingly encounter such patients

    Twenty-first century brain banking. Processing brains for research: the Columbia University methods

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    Carefully categorized postmortem human brains are crucial for research. The lack of generally accepted methods for processing human postmortem brains for research persists. Thus, brain banking is essential; however, it cannot be achieved at the cost of the teaching mission of the academic institution by routing brains away from residency programs, particularly when the autopsy rate is steadily decreasing. A consensus must be reached whereby a brain can be utilizable for diagnosis, research, and teaching. The best diagnostic categorization possible must be secured and the yield of samples for basic investigation maximized. This report focuses on integrated, novel methods currently applied at the New York Brain Bank, Columbia University, New York, which are designed to reach accurate neuropathological diagnosis, optimize the yield of samples, and process fresh-frozen samples suitable for a wide range of modern investigations. The brains donated for research are processed as soon as possible after death. The prosector must have a good command of the neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and the protocol. One half of each brain is immersed in formalin for performing the thorough neuropathologic evaluation, which is combined with the teaching task. The contralateral half is extensively dissected at the fresh state. The anatomical origin of each sample is recorded using the map of Brodmann for the cortical samples. The samples are frozen at −160°C, barcode labeled, and ready for immediate disbursement once categorized diagnostically. A rigorous organization of freezer space, coupled to an electronic tracking system with its attached software, fosters efficient access for retrieval within minutes of any specific frozen samples in storage. This report describes how this achievement is feasible with emphasis on the actual processing of brains donated for research

    The Dopamine Transporter: Molecular Biology, Pharmacology and Genetics

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    Decreased cerebral glucose metabolism in patients with brain tumors: an effect of corticosteroids

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    The authors measured cerebral glucose metabolism (CMRglu) using [18F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with brain tumors to evaluate the effect of exogenous corticosteroids (in this instance, dexamethasone) on glucose metabolism. Fifty-six FDG-PET studies obtained in 45 patients with unilateral supratentorial brain tumors were analyzed. Patients with brain tumors were divided into three groups: 1) patients with cushingoid symptoms, who had been treated with combinations of radiotherapy and chemotherapy taking oral dexamethasone; 2) patients not taking dexamethasone but treated with radiotherapy; and 3) patients not taking dexamethasone who had not been treated with radiotherapy. Serial FDG-PET scans were obtained in eight of the cushingoid patients. Glucose metabolism was measured in the contralateral cerebral and ipsilateral cerebellar hemispheres in patients and compared to measurements taken from 19 normal volunteers. The authors found that in the cushingoid brain tumor patients there was a marked reduction in CMRglu compared to normal volunteers and other brain tumor patients (Kruskal-Wallis test; p 0.001). In the majority of patients who had serial FDG-PET scans, there was a decline in glucose metabolism over time and in one patient, in whom dexamethasone was reduced in dosage, there was a subsequent increase in CMRglu. The authors conclude that there is a generalized reduction in CMRglu in brain tumor patients taking dexamethasone compared to other brain tumor patients and normal volunteers, and that this effect is independent of radiotherapy, concurrent anticonvulsant medication, and transhemispheric functional disconnection (transhemispheric diaschisis)

    Serotonin 5HT2 receptor imaging in the human brain using positron emission tomography and a new radioligand, [18F]altanserin: results in young normal controls.

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    Changes in serotonin-2 receptors have been demonstrated in brain autopsy material from patients with various neurodegenerative and affective disorders. It would be desirable to locate a ligand for the study of these receptors in vivo with positron emission tomography (PET). Altanserin is a 4-benzoylpiperidine derivative with a high affinity and selectivity for S2 receptors in vitro. Dynamic PET studies were carried out in nine normal volunteers with high-specific activity (376-1,680 mCi/mumol) [18F]altanserin. Arterial blood samples were obtained and the plasma time-activity curves were corrected for the presence of labeled metabolites. Thirty minutes after injection, selective retention of the radioligand was observed in cortical areas, while the cerebellum, caudate, and thalamus had low radioactivity levels. Specific binding reached a plateau between 30 and 65 min postinjection at 1.8% of the injected dose/L of brain and then decreased, indicating the reversibility of the binding. The total/nonspecific binding ratio reached 2.6 for times between 50 and 70 min postinjection. The graphical analysis proposed by Logan et al. allowed us to estimate the binding potential (Bmax/KD). Pretreatment with ketanserin was given to three volunteers and brain activity remained uniformly low. An additional study in one volunteer showed that [18F]altanserin can be displaced from the receptors by large doses of ketanserin. At the end of the study, unchanged altanserin was 57% of the total plasma activity. These results suggest that [18F]altanserin is selective for S2 receptors in vivo as it is in vitro. They indicate that [18F]altanserin is suitable for imaging and quantifying S2 receptors with PET in humans