Friday, October 10, 2014

Best Post of August 2015: 35-year-old woman who died after a presumed seizure episode

The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from Thursday, August 21, 2014:

A 35-year-old woman died after a witness saw her "foaming at the mouth". A seizure was presumed to have occurred by emergency personnel. At autopsy, there was mild dilatation of the lateral and third ventricles:



This translucent mass was identified in the third ventricle:


Histological examination of the cyst contents revealed:

Although no ciliated epithelium was identified within the specimen, there were columnar cells with a pseudostratified configuration:


However, the majority of the cyst lining was flattened, simple epithelium:


Diagnosis is colloid cyst of the third ventricle. Normally one would see ciliated columnar cells lining the cyst, but they appear to be attenuated and flattened by the internal pressure of the cyst itself.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My secret agent intercepted this communication

Editors: Seth Love, Arie Perry, James Ironside, Herbert Budka
Title: Greenfield's Neuropathology 9e
ISBN: 9781444166934
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Estimated pub date: 20 February 2015
Estimated extent: 2000pp
Print run: 2000 copies

Listed on Amazon for only $778.35!!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

New ISN book – Peripheral Nerve Disorders – coming soon

A new book covering peripheral nerve diseases (part of the International Society of Neuropathology series)  is about to be released . The book editors are Jean-Michel Vallet and Joachim Weiss and includes chapters from a range of other international experts who have produced a clinically orientated guide to the pathology of peripheral nerve disorders. The book includes the latest molecular and pathological findings to provide the most up-to-date understanding of the pathogenesis of these disorders.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Best Post of July 2014: 3D print of white matter "captures a sense of delicate complexity that evokes a sense of wonder about the brain"

The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from July 2, 2014:

Creating an accurate 3D model of the brain's white matter for Philadelphia's Franklin Institute was a project no 3D printing company would tackle -- until 3D Systems (Rock Hill, SC) agreed to take it on. Here is an image of the finished project, which took about 210 hours to print out:

Interviewed for the tech website CNET, Franklin Institute chief bioscientist and lead exhibit developer Dr Jayatri Das said that the model "has really become one of the iconic pieces of the exhibit. Its sheer aesthetic beauty takes your breath away and transforms the exhibit space," said . "The fact that it comes from real data adds a level of authenticity to the science that we are presenting. But even if you don't quite understand what it shows, it captures a sense of delicate complexity that evokes a sense of wonder about the brain."

Thanks to the illustrious Dr. Doug Shevlin for informing me of this remarkable feat of engineering which, in his words, sits at "the intersection of neuroscience, computers and 3D printing".

Friday, September 12, 2014

PBS's Frontline Spotlights Neuropathology in Documentary Film

In the film, which airs Tuesday, Oct. 8 beginning at 9 pm EST, FRONTLINE investigates the hidden story of the NFL’s response to head injuries. Through interviews with former players, scientists and neuropatholgists, it examines what the NFL knew about the risks of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and when it knew it. Dr. Bennet Omalu, the first neuropathologist to draw a connections between playing football and the development of CTE, is featured in this remarkable documentary.

See a six-minute preview of the film here.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the first pathologist to posit the connection between CTE and playing football

Thanks to Dr. Doug Shevlin sending me this link.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Amyloid-beta and neurofilament in 3D

video
Three-dimensional immunohistological visualization of Aβ (green) and neurofilament (red) in a 500-micron thick block of human post-mortem Alzheimer disease tissue.
 
From:Kunie A, et al. Inside Alzheimer brain with CLARITY: senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and axons in 3D. Acta Neuropathologica. , Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 457-459.

Thanks to Dr. Mark Cohen of Case Western for sending me the link.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Best Post of June 2014: Higgins Leads Athena's Quest for More Specific Epilepsy Diagnoses

The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from Thursday, June 5, 2014:

Joseph J. Higgins, MD
Last month I had an opportunity to sit down with Joseph J. Higgins, MD at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Dr. Higgins is Athena Diagnostics' recently named medical director for neurology.
Among the topics we discussed is Athena's new advances in helping clinicians diagnose autoimmune epilepsy disorders. A growing body of evidence points to an autoimmune etiology for a proportion of drug-resistant epilepsy cases. Dr. Higgins, with the horsepower of Athena's parent company Quest Diagnostics behind him, is leading the way in making auto-antibody testing available to patients with intractable epilepsy. While patients with pathogenic auto-antibodies often experience heightened adverse effects and typically respond poorly to conventional treatment, they can respond very well to immunomodulatory therapy. Autoantibodies to surface proteins that influence neuronal excitability have been found in the serum and cerebral spinal fluid of well over 10% of patients with epilepsy—whether the epilepsy was newly-diagnosed or established. In many cases, once identified, autoimmune epilepsy can be slowed, halted, or even reversed with adjunctive immunotherapy. Testing to establish an accurate diagnosis is an important part of selecting an optimal treatment plan. In a recent study (see reference below), 81% of adult patients diagnosed with autoimmune epilepsy experienced significant improvement in seizure status when immunotherapy was used in combination with anti-epileptic medications; 67% achieved complete seizure freedom.

Among the clinical syndromes that can be investigated using CSF auto-antibody assays are Morvan's Syndrome (by testing for VGKC complex, predominantly CASPR2) and NMDA Receptor Antibody Encephalitis (by testing for NMDA receptor, NR1 subunit). Dr. Higgins is at the forefront of personalized epilepsy treatment. Athena's advances in this field will ultimately improve patient outcomes while reducing medical costs. 


Reference: Quek AM, Britton JW, McKeon A, et al. Autoimmune epilepsy: clinical characteristics and response to immunotherapy. Arch Neurol 2012;69:582-93.