Clinical Neuroscience

The changing face of neuroscience

LORD WALTON of Detchant1

JANUARY 20, 1994

Clinical Neuroscience - 1994;47(01-02)

This paper is based upon three lectures one given in Australia in a symposiom in honour of Professor James Lance on his retirement, another delivered to the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences on 26 January 1993 and published in the procceedings of that annual symposium of the Academy. It is reproduced here with permission.


  1. Former Professor of Neurology and Dean of Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. former Warden and Honorary Fellow, Green College, Oxford, President, World Federation of Neurology



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[P300 and early components of the visual event related potentials were compared in 26 chronic schizophrenic patients and 20 healthy subjects. The correlation between visual evoked response and clinical, neurocognitive, biochemical variables was analysed in schizophrenic group. Event related potentials in response to rare visual stimuli were recorded from central and occipital sites and 20 electrophysiological parameters were determined. Reaction time and proportion of correct recognition were also detected. The schizophrenic patients showed significant reduction is P300 amplitude. Differences in other components between groups were also demonstrated. The seven most important parameters were evaluated by discriminant analysis. The prolonged negative components latency and delayed reaction time suggest that the stimulus classification process is slower in schizophrenics, Using canonical correlation analysis three factors were found to be significant. The data showed that electrophysiological abnormality was highly correlated with chronicity of the illness, severe psychopathological features and cognitive deficit but was uncorrelated with negative symptoms and serum dopamine-beta-hydroxylase activity. These findings are compatible with other studies suggesting visual P300 has the characteristic of a state marker in schizophrenia.]

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[Myasthenia gravis as a disease entity has long been known. With the inclusion of the paraneoplastic myasthenia syndrome, a wider area was encompassed by the disease, which became still wider by the description of different myasthenic syndromes in childhood. Recently quite a few provocative factors became known which can cause myasthenia gravis or some similar syndromes. One such-prominent-factor is D-penicillamine a drug widely used in rheumatology practice. A great number of cases were studied involving the provocative factors: D-penicillamine, the infectious diseases, drugs and other possible causes. After provocative factors myasthenia gravis disease, myasthenic syndrome with different clinical course and transitive myasthenic reaction with spontaneous remission may develop. The ability to distinguist between these conditions is important from both the therapeutic and prognostic points of view. Mild not known, or not recognized myasthenia gravis can in some cases be diagnosed by careful neurological examination and diagnostic tests. ]

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