Clinical Neuroscience

[A rare complication of a rare disease; stroke due to relapsing polychondritis]


NOVEMBER 20, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(11-12)


[Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is an episodic and progressive inflammatory disease of cartilaginous structures. Its diagnosis is based primarily on clinical features such as laboratory parameters, biopsy. Neurological complications occur in 3% of the cases and are classified as an important cause of death. The cranial nerve disorders are most common but hemiplegia, ataxia, myelitis, polyneuritis, seizures, confusion, hallucination and headache can also happen. The aetiology of central nervous system involvement is still unknown. Moreover stroke has rarely reported in these patients. The diagnosis of stroke is challenging because of its rarity among these patients. Perhaps vasculitis is the common underlying mechanism. Also meningitis and encephalitis can occur during the course of RP. A 44 year-old woman was admitted with uncontemplated left hemiparesis, redness, swelling, and tenderness of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints of the right hand and the cartilaginous portion. White blood cell count, C-reactive protein and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate were elevated. Vasculitis biomarkers were normal in our patient. Carotid and vertebral artery doppler ultrasonography, cranial and cervical MR Angiography were normal. Echocardiography showed a mild mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. Our patient had the history of auricular polychondritis but she had not been diagnosed. Hemiparesis was her first neurological manifestation that led her to doctors for diagnosis. Our patient fulfilled the criteria of RP so no biopsy was needed. She was treated with oral prednisolone (80 mg/day) and aspirin (300 mg/day) and now she is on 10 mg prednisolone and 150 mg azathioprine. Two months later her physical and neurological symptoms returned to normal.]


  1. Department of 3rd Neurology, Bakırköy Research & Training Hospital of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Istanbul, Turkey



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Clinical Neuroscience

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[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]

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[Introduction – Mentalization is the ability to attribute mental states (intentions, desires, thoughts, emotions) to others, and hence to predict their behaviour. This ability fundamentally determines our participation in social relationships and adaptation to society. A significant proportion of the disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) affects those brain structures and neurotransmitter systems that play a role in the mentalizing processes. Accordingly, a number of CNS disorders may be associated with mentalizing deficits, which may affect the outcome of these diseases. Here, we review recent research on mentalizing abilities in neurological diseases. Methods – An internet database search was performed to identify publications on the subject. Results – Sixty-two publications in English corresponded to the search criteria. These publications reported impaired mentalization in several neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementias, traumatic brain injury). Discussion – The results indicate that a number of neurological disorders associate with mentalizing deficit. This deficit is often present in the early stages of the diseases and has a prognostic value, which in turn emphasizes the importance of the early detection and adequate rehabilitation.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

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