Items in AFP with MESH term: Recovery of Function
Guillain-Barre Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a group of autoimmune syndromes consisting of demyelinating and acute axonal degenerating forms of the disease. Nerve conduction study helps differentiate the heterogeneous subtypes of GBS. Patients exhibit a progressive paralysis that reaches a plateau phase. In most patients, resolution is complete or near complete. Mortality from GBS most often is associated with dysautonomia and mechanical ventilation. GBS usually is associated with an antecedent infection by one of several known pathogens. Cross-reactivity between the pathogen and the nerve tissue sets up the autoimmune response. Treatment consists of supportive care, ventilatory management (in about one third of patients), and specific therapy with intravenous immunoglobulin or plasmapheresis. Consultation with a neurologist is suggested.
A Long Recovery - Close-ups
Back on the Mat - Close-ups
ABSTRACT: Diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain affects the functionality, mood, and sleep patterns of approximately 10 to 20 percent of patients with diabetes mellitus. Treatment goals include restoring function and improving pain control. Patients can realistically expect a 30 to 50 percent reduction in discomfort with improved functionality. The main classes of agents used to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain include tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, opiates and opiate-like substances, and topical medications. Physicians should ask patients whether they have tried complementary and alternative medicine therapies for their pain. Only two medications are approved specifically for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain: pregabalin and duloxetine. However, evidence supports the use of other therapies, and unless there are contraindications, tricyclic antidepressants are the first-line treatment. Because patients often have multiple comorbidities, physicians must consider potential adverse effects and possible drug interactions before prescribing a medication.
ABSTRACT: Referring a patient to a neuropsychologist for evaluation provides a level of rigorous assessment of brain function that often cannot be obtained in other ways. The neuropsychologist integrates information from the patient’s medical history, laboratory tests, and imaging studies; an in-depth interview; collateral information from the family and other sources; and standardized assessment instruments to draw conclusions about diagnosis, prognosis, and response to therapy. Family physicians can use this information in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with depression, dementia, concussion, and similar conditions, as well as to address concerns about decision-making capacity. Certain assessment instruments, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination and Patient Health Questionnaire–9, are readily available and easily performed in a primary care office. Distinguishing among depression, dementia, and other conditions can be challenging, and consultation with a neuropsychologist at this level can be diagnostic and therapeutic. The neuropsychologist typically helps the patient, family, and primary care team by establishing decision-making capacity; determining driving safety; identifying traumatic brain injury deficits; distinguishing dementia from depression and other conditions; and detecting malingering. Neuropsychologists use a structured set of therapeutic activities to improve a patient’s ability to think, use judgment, and make decisions (cognitive rehabilitation). Repeat neuropsychological evaluation can be invaluable in monitoring progression and treatment effects.
Hypothermia for Neuroprotection in Adults After Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - Cochrane for Clinicians
ABSTRACT: Concussion is a disturbance in brain function caused by direct or indirect force to the head. It is a functional rather than structural injury that results from shear stress to brain tissue caused by rotational or angular forces—direct impact to the head is not required. Initial evaluation involves eliminating cervical spine injury and serious traumatic brain injury. Headache is the most common symptom of concussion, although a variety of clinical domains (e.g., somatic, cognitive, affective) can be affected. Signs and symptoms are nonspecific; therefore, a temporal relationship between an appropriate mechanism of injury and symptoms must be determined. There are numerous assessment tools to aid diagnosis, including symptom checklists, neuropsychological tests, postural stability tests, and sideline assessment tools. These tools are also used to monitor recovery. Cognitive and physical rest are the cornerstones of initial management. There are no specific treatments for concussion; therefore, focus is on managing symptoms and return to play. Because concussion recovery is variable, rigid classification systems have mostly been abandoned in favor of an individualized approach. A graded return-to-play protocol can be implemented once a patient has recovered in all affected domains. Children, adolescents, and those with a history of concussions may require a longer recovery period. There is limited research on the management of concussions in children and adolescents, but concern for potential consequences of injury to the developing brain suggests that a more conservative approach to management is appropriate in these patients.