Neurological disease

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Neurological disease

There is a fascinating case study in Current Biology. de Gelder et al. discuss a patient — referred to as TN to protect his privacy — who had two sequential strokes that damaged his brain. The parts of the brain that were damaged included the primary visual cortex in both hemispheres — rendering the patient…

I have been reading more on the Natasha Richardson story overnight, and it appears the story has moved into blame-placing mode. (For the original discussion of the story, read this.) Possible places to lay the blame (that I have read thus far): The absence of mandatory helmet laws Canadian medicine’s failure to administer rapid CTs…

So I am way behind the news cycle on this, but I wanted to comment briefly on actress Natasha Richardson’s death as a result of an epidural hematoma. From everything I read, she seemed like a very good actress, a very decent woman, and an excellent wife and mother, so I was saddened to read…

I caught this story (with an accompanying video) over at Mind Hacks and Neuron Culture about this poor woman from the UK who fell unconscious from a viral infection in her brain stem. Using fMRI, a doctor at Cambridge named Adrian Owen showed that she still had residual brain functions such as response to light.…

Italy’s Terry Schiavo

There was a case like Terry Schiavo’s in Italy that is triggering a genuine constitutional crisis. Eluana Englaro, who had been on a feeding tube in a persistent vegetative state, for 17 years passed away last night after her father ordered her feeding tube removed. But this was not before Silvio Berlusconi attempted to pass…

Brain Damage in Football Players

Researchers at Boston University have done an autopsy on another former football player and found evidence of severe neurological damage that would likely lead to dementia later in life: Leading medical experts at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) reported today that nine-year NFL veteran,…

Sen. Kennedy and Glioma

I don’t know if everyone caught this in the news, but Senator Edward Kennedy has been diagnosed with a glioma. Regardless of one’s politics, this is a real bum rap, and my deepest sympathy goes out to him and his family (who have already had enough tragedy to deal with). I thought I would summarize…

CNN has a story about a Navy neurologist who tried using mirrors to help soldiers from Iraq with phantom pain. Phantom pain is pain in amputees that is perceived to originate in the amputated limb. What causes it is not exactly clear although many theories exist. However, it is often refractory to pain medication (this…

Migraine Art

The NYTimes has a slide show of “migraine” art provided by Oliver Sacks from his book Migraine. They attempt to illustrate what a migraine aura looks like. Neat. I would put one up on my wall if I didn’t feel so horrible that it was the pictorial prelude to someone’s intense pain.

In neuroscience, we spend a lot of time studying the normal function of the nervous system, and we spend a lot of time studying disease processes that can impair this function. What we don’t typically do is study how functional recovery can happen. Functional recovery is how an neurological impaired individual uses existing pathways to…