BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In 2005, we presented for the first time overall estimates of annual costs for brain disorders (mental and neurologic disorders) in Europe. This new report presents updated, more accurate, and comprehensive 2010 estimates for 30 European countries. METHODS: One-year prevalence and annual cost per person of 19 major groups of disorders are based on 'best estimates' derived from systematic literature reviews by panels of experts in epidemiology and health economics. Our cost estimation model was populated with national statistics from Eurostat to adjust to 2010 values, converting all local currencies to Euros (euro), imputing cost for countries where no data were available, and aggregating country estimates to purchasing power parity-adjusted estimates of the total cost of brain disorders in Europe in 2010. RESULTS: Total European 2010 cost of brain disorders was euro798 billion, of which direct health care cost 37%, direct non-medical cost 23%, and indirect cost 40%. Average cost per inhabitant was euro5.550. The European average cost per person with a disorder of the brain ranged between euro285 for headache and euro30 000 for neuromuscular disorders. Total annual cost per disorder (in billion euro 2010) was as follows: addiction 65.7; anxiety disorders 74.4; brain tumor 5.2; child/adolescent disorders 21.3; dementia 105.2; eating disorders 0.8; epilepsy 13.8; headache 43.5; mental retardation 43.3; mood disorders 113.4; multiple sclerosis 14.6; neuromuscular disorders 7.7; Parkinson's disease 13.9; personality disorders 27.3; psychotic disorders 93.9; sleep disorders 35.4; somatoform disorder 21.2; stroke 64.1; and traumatic brain injury 33.0. CONCLUSION: Our cost model revealed that brain disorders overall are much more costly than previously estimated constituting a major health economic challenge for Europe. Our estimate should be regarded as conservative because many disorders or cost items could not be included because of lack of data.
Background and objectives: This second European Federation of Neurological Societies Task Force aimed at updating the existing evidence about the pharmacological treatment of neuropathic pain since 2005. Methods: Studies were identified using the Cochrane Database and Medline. Trials were classified according to the aetiological condition. All class I and II randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were assessed; lower class studies were considered only in conditions that had no top‐level studies. Treatments administered using repeated or single administrations were considered, provided they are feasible in an outpatient setting. Results: Most large RCTs included patients with diabetic polyneuropathies and post‐herpetic neuralgia, while an increasing number of smaller studies explored other conditions. Drugs generally have similar efficacy in various conditions, except in trigeminal neuralgia, chronic radiculopathy and HIV neuropathy, with level A evidence in support of tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), pregabalin, gabapentin, tramadol and opioids (in various conditions), duloxetine, venlafaxine, topical lidocaine and capsaicin patches (in restricted conditions). Combination therapy appears useful for TCA‐gabapentin and gabapentin‐opioids (level A). Conclusions: There are still too few large‐scale comparative studies. For future trials, we recommend to assess comorbidities, quality of life, symptoms and signs with standardized tools and attempt to better define responder profiles to specific drug treatments.
Background: The evidence base for the diagnosis and management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is weak. Objectives: To provide evidence‐based or expert recommendations for the diagnosis and management of ALS based on a literature search and the consensus of an expert panel. Methods: All available medical reference systems were searched, and original papers, meta‐analyses, review papers, book chapters and guidelines recommendations were reviewed. The final literature search was performed in February 2011. Recommendations were reached by consensus. Recommendations: Patients with symptoms suggestive of ALS should be assessed as soon as possible by an experienced neurologist. Early diagnosis should be pursued, and investigations, including neurophysiology, performed with a high priority. The patient should be informed of the diagnosis by a consultant with a good knowledge of the patient and the disease. Following diagnosis, the patient and relatives/carers should receive regular support from a multidisciplinary care team. Medication with riluzole should be initiated as early as possible. Control of symptoms such as sialorrhoea, thick mucus, emotional lability, cramps, spasticity and pain should be attempted. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding improves nutrition and quality of life, and gastrostomy tubes should be placed before respiratory insufficiency develops. Non‐invasive positive‐pressure ventilation also improves survival and quality of life. Maintaining the patient’s ability to communicate is essential. During the entire course of the disease, every effort should be made to maintain patient autonomy. Advance directives for palliative end‐of‐life care should be discussed early with the patient and carers, respecting the patient’s social and cultural background.
Background A Task Force was convened by the EFNS/MDS‐ES Scientist Panel on Parkinson's disease (PD) and other movement disorders to systemically review relevant publications on the diagnosis of PD. Methods Following the EFNS instruction for the preparation of neurological diagnostic guidelines, recommendation levels have been generated for diagnostic criteria and investigations. Results For the clinical diagnosis, we recommend the use of the Queen Square Brain Bank criteria (Level B). Genetic testing for specific mutations is recommended on an individual basis (Level B), taking into account specific features (i.e. family history and age of onset). We recommend olfactory testing to differentiate PD from other parkinsonian disorders including recessive forms (Level A). Screening for pre‐motor PD with olfactory testing requires additional tests due to limited specificity. Drug challenge tests are not recommended for the diagnosis in de novo parkinsonian patients. There is an insufficient evidence to support their role in the differential diagnosis between PD and other parkinsonian syndromes. We recommend an assessment of cognition and a screening for REM sleep behaviour disorder, psychotic manifestations and severe depression in the initial evaluation of suspected PD cases (Level A). Transcranial sonography is recommended for the differentiation of PD from atypical and secondary parkinsonian disorders (Level A), for the early diagnosis of PD and in the detection of subjects at risk for PD (Level A), although the technique is so far not universally used and requires some expertise. Because specificity of TCS for the development of PD is limited, TCS should be used in conjunction with other screening tests. Conventional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion‐weighted imaging at 1.5 T are recommended as neuroimaging tools that can support a diagnosis of multiple system atrophy (MSA) or progressive supranuclear palsy versus PD on the basis of regional atrophy and signal change as well as diffusivity patterns (Level A). DaTscan SPECT is registered in Europe and the United States for the differential diagnosis between degenerative parkinsonisms and essential tremor (Level A). More specifically, DaTscan is indicated in the presence of significant diagnostic uncertainty such as parkinsonism associated with neuroleptic exposure and atypical tremor manifestations such as isolated unilateral postural tremor. Studies of [123I]MIBG/SPECT cardiac uptake may be used to identify patients with PD versus controls and MSA patients (Level A). All other SPECT imaging studies do not fulfil registration standards and cannot be recommended for routine clinical use. At the moment, no conclusion can be drawn as to diagnostic efficacy of autonomic function tests, neurophysiological tests and positron emission tomography imaging in PD. Conclusions The diagnosis of PD is still largely based on the correct identification of its clinical features. Selected investigations (genetic, olfactory, and neuroimaging studies) have an ancillary role in confirming the diagnosis, and some of them could be possibly used in the near future to identify subjects in a pre‐symptomatic phase of the disease. Click here for the corresponding questions to this CME article.
Alzheimer's disease, the commonest cause of dementia, is a growing global health concern with huge implications for individuals and society. In this review, current understanding of the epidemiology, genetics, pathology and pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is outlined, before its clinical presentation and current treatment strategies are discussed. Finally, the review discusses how our enhanced understanding of Alzheimer pathogenesis, including the recognition of a protracted preclinical phase, is informing new therapeutic strategies with the aim of moving from treatment to prevention.
Background and purpose: Headache disorders are very common, but their monetary costs in Europe are unknown. We performed the first comprehensive estimation of how economic resources are lost to headache in Europe. Methods: From November 2008 to August 2009, a cross‐sectional survey was conducted in eight countries representing 55% of the adult EU population. Participation rates varied between 11% and 59%. In total, 8412 questionnaires contributed to this analysis. Using bottom‐up methodology, we estimated direct (medications, outpatient health care, hospitalization and investigations) and indirect (work absenteeism and reduced productivity at work) annual per‐person costs. Prevalence data, simultaneously collected and, for migraine, also derived from a systematic review, were used to impute national costs. Results: Mean per‐person annual costs were €1222 for migraine (95% CI 1055–1389; indirect costs 93%), €303 for tension‐type headache (TTH, 95% CI 230–376; indirect costs 92%), €3561 for medication‐overuse headache (MOH, 95% CI 2487–4635; indirect costs 92%), and €253 for other headaches (95% CI 99–407; indirect costs 82%). In the EU, the total annual cost of headache amongst adults aged 18–65 years was calculated, according to our prevalence estimates, at €173 billion, apportioned to migraine (€111 billion; 64%), TTH (€21 billion; 12%), MOH (€37 billion; 21%) and other headaches (€3 billion; 2%). Using the 15% systematic review prevalence of migraine, calculated costs were somewhat lower (migraine €50 billion, all headache €112 billion annually). Conclusions: Headache disorders are prominent health‐related drivers of immense economic losses for the EU. This has immediate implications for healthcare policy. Health care for headache can be both improved and cost saving.
Consensus guidelines on the definition, investigation, and treatment of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) have been previously published in European Journal of Neurology and Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System. To revise these guidelines. Disease experts, including a representative of patients, considered references retrieved from MEDLINE and Cochrane Systematic Reviews published between August 2004 and July 2009 and prepared statements that were agreed in an iterative fashion. The Task Force agreed on Good Practice Points to define clinical and electrophysiological diagnostic criteria for CIDP with or without concomitant diseases and investigations to be considered. The principal treatment recommendations were: (i) intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) (Recommendation Level A) or corticosteroids (Recommendation Level C) should be considered in sensory and motor CIDP; (ii) IVIg should be considered as the initial treatment in pure motor CIDP (Good Practice Point); (iii) if IVIg and corticosteroids are ineffective, plasma exchange (PE) should be considered (Recommendation Level A); (iv) if the response is inadequate or the maintenance doses of the initial treatment are high, combination treatments or adding an immunosuppressant or immunomodulatory drug should be considered (Good Practice Point); (v) symptomatic treatment and multidisciplinary management should be considered (Good Practice Point)
Background: Revision of the guidelines on the use of skin biopsy in the diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, published in 2005, has become appropriate owing to publication of more relevant articles. Most of the new studies focused on small fiber neuropathy (SFN), a subtype of neuropathy for which the diagnosis was first developed through skin biopsy examination. This revision focuses on the use of this technique to diagnose SFN. Methods: Task force members searched the Medline database from 2005, the year of the publication of the first EFNS guideline, to June 30th, 2009. All pertinent articles were rated according to the EFNS and PNS guidance. After a consensus meeting, the task force members created a manuscript that was subsequently revised by two experts (JML and JVS) in the field of peripheral neuropathy and clinical neurophysiology, who were not previously involved in the use of skin biopsy. Results and Conclusions: Distal leg skin biopsy with quantification of the linear density of intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENF), using generally agreed upon counting rules, is a reliable and efficient technique to assess the diagnosis of SFN (Recommendation Level A). Normative reference values are available for bright‐field immunohistochemistry (Recommendation Level A) but not yet for confocal immunofluorescence or the blister technique. The morphometric analysis of IENF density, either performed with bright‐field or immunofluorescence microscopy, should always refer to normative values matched for age (Recommendation Level A). Newly established laboratories should undergo adequate training in a well‐established skin biopsy laboratory and provide their own stratified for age and gender normative values, intra‐ and interobserver reliability, and interlaboratory agreement. Quality control of the procedure at all levels is mandatory (Good Practice Point). Procedures to quantify subepidermal nerve fibers and autonomic innervated structures, including erector pili muscles, and skin vessels, are under development but need to be confirmed by further studies. Sweat gland innervation can be examined using an unbiased stereologic technique recently proposed (Recommendation Level B).A reduced IENF density is associated with the risk of developing neuropathic pain (Recommendation Level B), but it does not correlate with its intensity. Serial skin biopsies might be useful for detecting early changes of IENF density, which predict the progression of neuropathy, and to assess degeneration and regeneration of IENF (Recommendation Level C). However, further studies are warranted to confirm its potential usefulness as an outcome measure in clinical practice and research. Skin biopsy has not so far been useful for identifying the etiology of SFN. Finally, we emphasize that 3‐mm skin biopsy at the ankle is a safe procedure based on the experience of 10 laboratories reporting absence of serious side effects in approximately 35 000 biopsies and a mere 0.19% incidence of non‐serious side effects in about 15 years of practice (Good Practice Point).
Background and objectives: In 2008 a task force was set up to develop a revision of the European Federation of the Neurological Societies (EFNS) guideline for the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other disorders associated with dementia, published in early 2007. The aim of this revised international guideline was to present a peer-reviewed evidence-based statement for the guidance of practice for clinical neurologists, geriatricians, psychiatrists, and other specialist physicians responsible for the care of patients with AD. Mild cognitive impairment and non-Alzheimer dementias are not included in this guideline. Methods: The task force working group reviewed evidence from original research articles, meta-analysis, and systematic reviews, published before May 2009. The evidence was classified and consensus recommendations graded (A, B, or C) according to the EFNS guidance. Where there was a lack of evidence, but clear consensus, good practice points were provided. Results: The recommendations for clinical diagnosis, blood tests, neuropsychology, neuroimaging, electroencephalography, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, genetic testing, disclosure of diagnosis, treatment of AD, behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia, legal issues, counselling and support for caregivers were all revised as compared with the previous EFNS guideline. Conclusion: A number of new recommendations and good practice points are made, namely in CSF, neuropsychology, neuroimaging and reviewing non-evidence based therapies. The assessment, interpretation, and treatment of symptoms, disability, needs, and caregiver stress during the course of AD require the contribution of many different professionals. These professionals should adhere to these guideline to improve the diagnosis and management of AD.
BACKGROUND: Cerebral venous and sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a rather rare disease which accounts for <1% of all strokes. Diagnosis is still frequently overlooked or delayed as a result of the wide spectrum of clinical symptoms and the often subacute or lingering onset. Current therapeutic measures which are used in clinical practice include the use of anticoagulants such as dose-adjusted intravenous heparin or body weight-adjusted subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), the use of thrombolysis and symptomatic therapy including control of seizures and elevated intracranial pressure. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE (National Library of Medicine), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and the Cochrane Library to review the strength of evidence to support these interventions and the preparation of recommendations on the therapy of CVST based on the best available evidence. Review articles and book chapters were also included. Recommendations were reached by consensus. Where there was a lack of evidence but consensus was clear we stated our opinion as good practice points. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CVST without contraindications for anticoagulation (AC) should be treated either with body weight-adjusted subcutaneous LMWH or with dose-adjusted intravenous heparin (level B recommendation). Concomitant intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) related to CVST is not a contraindication for heparin therapy. The optimal duration of oral anticoagulant therapy after the acute phase is unclear. Oral AC may be given for 3 months if CVST was secondary to a transient risk factor, for 6-12 months in patients with idiopathic CVST and in those with "mild" thrombophilia, such as heterozygous factor V Leiden or prothrombin G20210A mutation and high plasma levels of factor VIII. Indefinite AC should be considered in patients with recurrent episodes of CVST and in those with one episode of CVST and 'severe' thrombophilia, such as antithrombin, protein C or protein S deficiency, homozygous factor V Leiden or prothrombin G20210A mutation, antiphospholipid antibodies and combined abnormalities (good practice point). There is insufficient evidence to support the use of either systemic or local thrombolysis in patients with CVST. If patients deteriorate despite adequate AC and other causes of deterioration have been ruled out, thrombolysis may be a therapeutic option in selected cases, possibly in those without large ICH and threatening herniation (good practice point). There are no controlled data about the risks and benefits of certain therapeutic measures to reduce an elevated intracranial pressure (with brain displacement) in patients with severe CVST. However, in severe cases with impending herniation craniectomy can be used as a life-saving intervention (good practice point)
Background: Diffuse infiltrative low‐grade gliomas of the cerebral hemispheres in the adult are a group of tumors with distinct clinical, histological and molecular characteristics, and there are still controversies in management. Methods: The scientific evidence of papers collected from the literature was evaluated and graded according to EFNS guidelines, and recommendations were given accordingly. Results and conclusions: WHO classification recognizes grade II astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas. Conventional MRI is used for differential diagnosis, guiding surgery, planning radiotherapy and monitoring treatment response. Advanced imaging techniques can increase the diagnostic accuracy. Younger age, normal neurological examination, oligodendroglial histology and 1p loss are favorable prognostic factors. Prophylactic antiepileptic drugs are not useful, whilst there is no evidence that one drug is better than the others. Total/near total resection can improve seizure control, progression‐free and overall survival, whilst reducing the risk of malignant transformation. Early post‐operative radiotherapy improves progression‐free but not overall survival. Low doses of radiation are as effective as high doses and better tolerated. Modern radiotherapy techniques reduce the risk of late cognitive deficits. Chemotherapy can be useful both at recurrence after radiotherapy and as initial treatment after surgery to delay the risk of late neurotoxicity from large‐field radiotherapy. Neurocognitive deficits are frequent and can be caused by the tumor itself, tumor‐related epilepsy, treatments and psychological distress. Click here for the corresponding questions to this CME article.
Background: Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS) almost invariably predate detection of the malignancy. Screening for tumours is important in PNS as the tumour directly affects prognosis and treatment and should be performed as soon as possible. Objectives: An overview of the screening of tumours related to classical PNS is given. Small cell lung cancer, thymoma, breast cancer, ovarian carcinoma and teratoma and testicular tumours are described in relation to paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis, subacute sensory neuronopathy, subacute autonomic neuropathy, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, paraneoplastic opsoclonus‐myoclonus, Lambert‐Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), myasthenia gravis and paraneoplastic peripheral nerve hyperexcitability. Methods: Many studies with class IV evidence were available; one study reached level III evidence. No evidence‐based recommendations grade A–C were possible, but good practice points were agreed by consensus. Recommendations: The nature of antibody, and to a lesser extent the clinical syndrome, determines the risk and type of an underlying malignancy. For screening of the thoracic region, a CT‐thorax is recommended, which if negative is followed by fluorodeoxyglucose‐positron emission tomography (FDG‐PET). Breast cancer is screened for by mammography, followed by MRI. For the pelvic region, ultrasound (US) is the investigation of first choice followed by CT. Dermatomyositis patients should have CT‐thorax/abdomen, US of the pelvic region and mammography in women, US of testes in men under 50 years and colonoscopy in men and women over 50. If primary screening is negative, repeat screening after 3–6 months and screen every 6 months up till 4 years. In LEMS, screening for 2 years is sufficient. In syndromes where only a subgroup of patients have a malignancy, tumour markers have additional value to predict a probable malignancy. Click here for the corresponding questions to this CME article.
Background and purpose: We have revised the previous EFNS guidelines on neuropathic pain (NP) assessment, which aimed to provide recommendations for the diagnostic process, screening tools and questionnaires, quantitative sensory testing (QST), microneurography, pain‐related reflexes and evoked potentials, functional neuroimaging and skin biopsy. Methods: We have checked and rated the literature published in the period 2004–2009, according to the EFNS method of classification for diagnostic procedures. Results: Most of the previous recommendations were reinforced by the new studies. The main revisions relate to: (i) the new definition of NP and a diagnostic grading system; (ii) several new validated clinical screening tools that identify NP components, and questionnaires which assess the different types of NP; (iii) recent high‐quality studies on laser‐evoked potentials (LEPs) and skin biopsy. Conclusions: History and bedside examination are still fundamental to a correct diagnosis, whilst screening tools and questionnaires are useful in indicating probable NP; QST is also useful for indicating the latter, and to assess provoked pains and treatment response. Amongst laboratory tests, LEPs are the best tool for assessing Aδ pathway dysfunction, and skin biopsy for assessing neuropathies with distal loss of unmyelinated nerve fibres.
Background and purpose Alterations in the gut microbial community composition may be influential in neurological disease. Microbial community profiles were compared between early onset pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) and control children similar for age and sex. Methods Children ≤18 years old within 2 years of MS onset or controls without autoimmune disorders attending a University of California, San Francisco, USA, pediatric clinic were examined for fecal bacterial community composition and predicted function by 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing and phylogenetic reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) analysis. Associations between subject characteristics and the microbiota, including beta diversity and taxa abundance, were identified using non‐parametric tests, permutational multivariate analysis of variance and negative binomial regression. Results Eighteen relapsing−remitting MS cases and 17 controls (mean age 13 years; range 4–18) were studied. Cases had a short disease duration (mean 11 months; range 2–24) and half were immunomodulatory drug (IMD) naïve. Whilst overall gut bacterial beta diversity was not significantly related to MS status, IMD exposure was (Canberra, P < 0.02). However, relative to controls, MS cases had a significant enrichment in relative abundance for members of the Desulfovibrionaceae (Bilophila, Desulfovibrio and Christensenellaceae) and depletion in Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae (all P and q < 0.000005). Microbial genes predicted as enriched in MS versus controls included those involved in glutathione metabolism (Mann−Whitney, P = 0.017), findings that were consistent regardless of IMD exposure. Conclusions In recent onset pediatric MS, perturbations in the gut microbiome composition were observed, in parallel with predicted enrichment of metabolic pathways associated with neurodegeneration. Findings were suggestive of a pro‐inflammatory milieu.
Background: Spasticity is a disabling complication of multiple sclerosis, affecting many patients with the condition. We report the first Phase 3 placebo‐controlled study of an oral antispasticity agent to use an enriched study design. Methods: A 19‐week follow‐up, multicentre, double‐blind, randomized, placebo‐controlled, parallel‐group study in subjects with multiple sclerosis spasticity not fully relieved with current antispasticity therapy. Subjects were treated with nabiximols, as add‐on therapy, in a single‐blind manner for 4 weeks, after which those achieving an improvement in spasticity of ≥20% progressed to a 12‐week randomized, placebo‐controlled phase. Results: Of the 572 subjects enrolled, 272 achieved a ≥20% improvement after 4 weeks of single‐blind treatment, and 241 were randomized. The primary end‐point was the difference between treatments in the mean spasticity Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) in the randomized, controlled phase of the study. Intention‐to‐treat (ITT) analysis showed a highly significant difference in favour of nabiximols (P = 0.0002). Secondary end‐points of responder analysis, Spasm Frequency Score, Sleep Disturbance NRS Patient, Carer and Clinician Global Impression of Change were all significant in favour of nabiximols. Conclusions: The enriched study design provides a method of determining the efficacy and safety of nabiximols in a way that more closely reflects proposed clinical practice, by limiting exposure to those patients who are likely to benefit from it. Hence, the difference between active and placebo should be a reflection of efficacy and safety in the population intended for treatment. Click here to view the accompanying paper in this issue.
Background: Migraine is one of the most frequent disabling neurological conditions with a major impact on the patients’ quality of life. Objectives: To give evidence‐based or expert recommendations for the different drug treatment procedures in the particular migraine syndromes based on a literature search and the consensus of an expert panel. Methods: All available medical reference systems were screened for the range of clinical studies on migraine with and without aura and on migraine‐like syndromes. The findings in these studies were evaluated according to the recommendations of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) resulting in level A, B, or C recommendations and good practice points. Recommendations: For the acute treatment of migraine attacks, oral non‐steroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) and triptans are recommended. The administration should follow the concept of stratified treatment. Before intake of NSAID and triptans, oral metoclopramide or domperidone is recommended. In very severe attacks, intravenous acetylsalicylic acid or subcutaneous sumatriptan are drugs of first choice. Status migrainosus can be treated by cortoicosteroids, although this is not universally held to be helpful, or dihydroergotamine. For the prophylaxis of migraine, betablockers (propranolol and metoprolol) flunarizine, valproic acid, and topiramate are drugs of first choice. Drugs of second choice for migraine prophylaxis include amitriptyline, naproxen, petasites, and bisoprolol.
Background: Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is a nervous system infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb). Objectives: To present evidence‐based recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. Methods: Data were analysed according to levels of evidence as suggested by EFNS. Recommendations: The following three criteria should be fulfilled for definite LNB, and two of them for possible LNB: (i) neurological symptoms; (ii) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis; (iii) Bb‐specific antibodies produced intrathecally. PCR and CSF culture may be corroborative if symptom duration is 6 months) for 3 weeks (good practice points). Children should be treated as adults, except that doxycycline is contraindicated under 8 years of age (nine in some countries). If symptoms persist for more than 6 months after standard treatment, the condition is often termed post‐Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS). Antibiotic therapy has no impact on PLDS (level A). Click here for the corresponding questions to this CME article.
Background and purpose: Current guidelines on cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) diagnosis and management were issued by the European Federation of Neurological Societies in 2010. We aimed to update the previous European Federation of Neurological Societies guidelines using a clearer and evidence-based methodology. Method: We followed the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system, formulating relevant diagnostic and treatment questions, performing systematic reviews and writing recommendations based on the quality of available scientific evidence. Results: We suggest using magnetic resonance or computed tomographic angiography for confirming the diagnosis of CVT and not routinely screening patients with CVT for thrombophilia or cancer. We recommend parenteral anticoagulation in acute CVT and decompressive surgery to prevent death due to brain herniation. We suggest preferentially using low-molecular-weight heparin in the acute phase and not direct oral anticoagulants. We suggest not using steroids and acetazolamide to reduce death or dependency. We suggest using antiepileptics in patients with an early seizure and supratentorial lesions to prevent further early seizures. We could not make recommendations concerning duration of anticoagulation after the acute phase, thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy, therapeutic lumbar puncture, and prevention of remote seizures with antiepileptic drugs. We suggest that, in women who have suffered a previous CVT, contraceptives containing oestrogens should be avoided. We suggest that subsequent pregnancies are safe, but use of prophylactic low-molecular-weight heparin should be considered throughout pregnancy and puerperium. Conclusions: Multicentre observational and experimental studies are needed to increase the level of evidence supporting recommendations on the diagnosis and management of CVT
Background and purpose Previous studies suggested that the overall burden of prior infections contributes to cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In the present study, the association between infectious burden (IB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) was examined. Methods Antibody titers to common infectious pathogens including cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV‐1), Borrelia burgdorferi, Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Helicobacter pylori were measured by enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay in 128 AD patients and 135 healthy controls. IB was defined as a composite serological measure of exposure to these common pathogens. Results Seropositivities toward zero−two, three and four−five of these pathogens were found in 44%, 40% and 16% of healthy controls but in 20%, 44% and 36% of AD patients, respectively. IB, bacterial burden and viral burden were independently associated with AD after adjusting for age, gender, education, APOE genotype and various comorbidities. Mini‐Mental State Examination scores were negatively correlated with IB in all cases. Serum beta‐amyloid protein (Aβ) levels (i.e. Aβ40, Aβ42 and total Aβ) and inflammatory cytokines (i.e. interferon‐γ, tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin‐1β and interleukin‐6) in individuals exposed to four−five infectious pathogens were significantly higher than those exposed to zero−two or three pathogens. Conclusions IB consisting of CMV, HSV‐1, B. burgdorferi, C. pneumoniae and H. pylori is associated with AD. This study supports the role of infection/inflammation in the etiopathogenesis of AD. Click here to view the accompanying paper in this issue. Videocasts of this article are available in: English: http://player.polyv.net/videos/player.swf?vid=f6ee5715d9808c7a481b7ae727da00dd_f Mandarin: http://player.polyv.net/videos/f6ee5715d98ae743a9b0509d0900c91f_f.swf