Cases reported "Atrophy"

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1/8. Category specificity in reading and writing: the case of number words.

    In standard models, word meanings contribute to reading words aloud and writing them to dictation. It is known that categories of knowledge and the associated word meanings can be spared or impaired selectively, but it has not been possible to demonstrate that category-specific effects apply to reading and writing. Here we report the case of a neurodegenerative patient with selectively spared numerical abilities whose brain damage left him able to read and write only number words.
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2/8. Memory disorder in Korsakoff's psychosis: a neuropathological and neuropsychological investigation of two cases.

    Neuropathological findings in the brains of two alcoholic patients with Korsakoff's psychosis are reported. Their memory defects had been studied in detail quantitatively over a period of nine years in one case and three years in the other, relevant details of which are presented. Both patients had had a relatively pure long-term memory impairment in the absence of other cognitive deficits and in the absence of a short-term memory impairment. Their retrograde amnesia for public events and famous faces had been measured and found to have extended backwards over at least twenty-five years. There was severe impairment in anterograde recognition memory for both verbal and non-verbal material. On a newly prepared memory quotient battery both patients had scored well below the bottom of the normal scale (less than 60, where 100 is the mean with a standard deviation of /- 15). Both patients had also shown the characteristic differential improvement in retention when tested by cued recall and also the characteristic 'prior learning effect', i.e. normal retention of one list of words when tested by cued recall but impaired retention of a second list sharing the same cues as the first list. There had been a slight but significant deterioration in intelligence in one of the patients in the two years prior to his death, although his IQ still fell within the normal range. The other patient remained undeteriorated until his death, and his IQ also was close to an estimated measure of his premorbid IQ. In the brains of both patients there was marked gliosis, shrinkage and discolouration bilaterally in the medial nuclei of the mammillary bodies. In addition there was a thin band of gliosis bilaterally between the wall of the third ventricle and the medial dorsal nucleus, the rostral limit lying anterior to the medial dorsal nucleus. In the patient with no intellectual deterioration these were the only pathological changes that were seen. In neither patient was there evident local loss of nerve cells, gliosis or any other qualitative evidence of abnormality in the hippocampi, the white matter of the temporal lobes or the greater part of the medial dorsal nuclei, although it is difficult to be certain whether there was any overlap between the band of gliosis and the most medial region of the medial dorsal nueleus and other adjacent thalamic nuclei. In the other patient there was also a small zone of softening in the cerebellum and an increase in astrocytes in other regions of the cerebral hemispheres, including the basal ganglia, amygdala, and brain-stem, but without noticeable loss of cells. The question of the minimal lesion for the alcoholic Korsakoff amnesic state, and some aspects of the related anatomy, is discussed in the context of other reports in the literature which are, however, difficult to assess in the absence of details of the specificity, severity and character of the memory disorders.
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3/8. A case study of pure word deafness: modularity in auditory processing?

    AL, a woman with an acquired disturbance of auditory processing beginning in the second decade, was originally diagnosed as having pure word deafness. Recent analysis with a wide range of stimuli suggests that her comprehension deficit also extends to a subset of musical and non-verbal environmental sounds. The perceptual demands of the different auditory stimuli appear to account for part of the apparent material specificity. Additionally, over the years, the presumed temporal lobe cortical pathology has been supplemented by a mild to moderate, peripheral low-frequency hearing loss and evidence of dysfunction in lower level auditory processing pathways. The current peripheral dysfunction closely resembles cases recently labeled as auditory neuropathy. The diagnosis of pure word deafness should not be based on a limited set of auditory stimuli; additionally, a careful assessment using modern audiological techniques should be performed to evaluate peripheral auditory functions.
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4/8. Neuropathological, biochemical and molecular findings in a glutaric acidemia type 1 cohort.

    Glutaric acidemia type 1 (GA-1) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by a deficiency of glutaryl-coa dehydrogenase (GCDH) activity. GA-1 is often associated with an acute encephalopathy between 6 and 18 months of age that causes striatal damage resulting in a severe dystonic movement disorder. Ten autopsy cases have been previously described. Our goal is to understand the disorder better so that treatments can be designed. Therefore, we present the neuropathological features of six additional cases (8 months-40 years), all North American aboriginals with the identical homozygous mutation. This cohort displays similar pathological characteristics to those previously described. Four had macroencephaly. All had striatal atrophy with severe loss of medium-sized neurons. We present several novel findings. This natural time course study allows us to conclude that neuron loss occurs shortly after the encephalopathical crisis and does not progress. In addition, we demonstrate mild loss of large striatal neurons, spongiform changes restricted to brainstem white matter and a mild lymphocytic infiltrate in the early stages. Reverse transcriptase-PCR to detect the GCDH mRNA revealed normal and truncated transcripts similar to those in fibroblasts. All brain regions demonstrated markedly elevated concentrations of GA (3770-21 200 nmol/g protein) and 3-OH-GA (280-740 nmol/g protein), with no evidence of striatal specificity or age dependency. The role of organic acids as toxic agents and as osmolytes is discussed. The pathogenesis of selective neuronal loss cannot be explained on the basis of regional genetic and/or metabolic differences. A suitable animal model for GA-1 is needed.
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5/8. Endoscopic demonstration of loss of duodenal folds in the diagnosis of celiac disease.

    Among 873 patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for various reasons over a two-year period, four had a loss of Kerckring's folds in the descending duodenum. Endoscopic duodenal biopsy in all four patients revealed subtotal villous atrophy due to celiac disease. We undertook a prospective study to evaluate the extent to which this finding predicted celiac disease in 65 consecutive patients referred for intestinal biopsy. Duodenal folds were absent or markedly decreased in 15 of 17 patients with subtotal villous atrophy and in 8 of 48 patients with partial villous atrophy or normal duodenal mucosa, giving a sensitivity of 88 percent and a specificity of 83 percent for this endoscopic finding with respect to celiac disease. We recommend that all patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy be examined for the loss or reduction of duodenal folds and, should this be found, that the examination include duodenal biopsy. The value of this procedure as an aid in the diagnosis of celiac disease should be particularly great in patients with minimal, transient, or unrelated symptoms.
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6/8. Computerized tomographic diagnosis: pitfalls for neurosurgeons.

    Computerized tomography as a diagnostic procedure is characterized by its high sensitivity but limited specificity. This lack of specificity may result in an erroneous diagnosis and, possibly, in ill-advised therapy unless clinical and objective data are carefully considered in interpreting the study. The most common pitfalls encountered are the phenomena of contrast enhancement of infarcts and mass effect associated with infarcts. Many different pathological processes can have similar enhancement patterns. The evolution of high density, acute hemorrhage to isodense areas in the chronic hematoma can become a serious diagnostic problem unless an appropriate history is available. The authors discuss 30 cases in which misinterpretation of CT scans resulted in erroneous diagnoses. Seventeen of these patients underwent operation.
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7/8. Accurate prediction of histologically confirmed Alzheimer's disease and the differential diagnosis of dementia: the use of NINCDS-ADRDA and DSM-III-R criteria, SPECT, X-ray CT, and APO E4 medial temporal lobe dementias. The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging.

    In a prospective study of more than 200 cases of dementia and 119 controls, annual technetium-99m-hexamethyl-propylene amineoxime (99mTc-HMPAO) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and annual medial temporal lobe (MTL) oriented X-ray computed tomography (CT) have been used to evaluate the diagnostic potential of functional and structural neuroimaging in the differential diagnosis of dementia. Some subjects have had up to 7 annual evaluations. So far, of 151 who have died, 143 (95%) have come to necropsy. histology is known for 118, of whom 80 had Alzheimer's disease (AD), 24 had other "non-AD" dementias, and 14 controls with no cognitive deficit in life also had no significant central nervous system pathology. To compare the findings in the dementias with the profile of structural and functional imaging in the cognitively normal elderly, scan data from 105 living, elderly controls without cognitive deficit have also been included in the analysis. All clinical diagnoses were according to National Institute of Neurological and Communicable Disease and stroke-Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders association (NINCDS-ADRDA) and the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., rev.; DSM-III-R) criteria, and all histopathological diagnoses according to the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) criteria. Early data from this cohort have suggested that the combination of both MTL atrophy seen on CT with parietotemporal hypoperfusion on SPECT may predict the pathology of AD. The diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and positive and negative predictive values of the NINCDS-ADRDA and DSM-III-R criteria could be assessed in this cohort against the gold standard of histopathology. The diagnostic potential of CT evidence of MTL atrophy alone, SPECT evidence of parietotemporal hypoperfusion alone, and the combination of both of these scan changes in the same individual could then be compared against the diagnostic accuracy of clinical operational criteria in the pathologically confirmed cases. Furthermore, all of these modalities could be compared with the diagnostic accuracy of apolipoprotein e4 (Apo E4) genotyping to predict AD in the histopathologically confirmed cohort. In this population, NINCDS "probable-AD" was 100% specific, 49% sensitive, and 66% accurate; "possible-AD" was only 61% specific, but 93% sensitive and 77% accurate; and the combination of both "probable-AD" and "possible-AD" was 61% specific, 96% sensitive, and 85% accurate. DSM-III-R criteria were 51% sensitive, 97% specific, and 66% accurate. In the same cases and including the 105 living, elderly controls, the diagnostic accuracy of the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA) scanning criteria showed CT alone to be 85% sensitive, 78% specific, and 80% accurate; SPECT alone had 89% sensitivity, 80% specificity, and 83% accuracy; and the combination of the two was 80% sensitive, 93% specific, and 88% accurate. The Apo E4 genotype was 74% sensitive but yielded 40% false positives in the histologically confirmed series. The diagnostic accuracy afforded by this method of CT and SPECT used alone is better than that of any established clinical criteria and reveals that the combination of MTL atrophy and parietotemporal hypoperfusion is common in AD, much less common in other dementias, and rare in normal controls. In the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria "possible-AD" cases, the combination of CT and SPECT findings alone were better in all diagnostic indices than the presence of Apo E4 alone in predicting AD. The frequent occurrence of MTL atrophy in AD and also in other "non-AD" dementias later in the course of the disease suggests the concept of medial temporal lobe dementia. This could explain some of the overlap of clinical profiles in the dementias, particularly as the dementia progresses, making clinical differential diagnosis difficult. In this context, the use of SPECT can significantly e
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8/8. Primary progressive semantic aphasia: a case study.

    A longitudinal case study of a patient with a progressive loss of meaning of objects with preserved phonology and syntax is presented. Repeated measures of language, praxis, visual cognition, and semantic processing were carried out. The patient still has preserved conversational speech, social skills, and orientation in her 8th year of her illness, but shows severe anomia and comprehension deficit in all modalities of stimulus presentation. In addition to standardized tests of language, cognition, and memory, specific experiments of categorization, modalities of word access, item consistency, category specificity, and definition of words were carried out. Results indicate a frequency dependent loss of meaning that was consistent in all modalities and throughout all object categories. However, the relative preservation of visual categorization of all categories tested and the language based categorization of animals suggested some fractionation of semantic memory. Relative preservation of autobiographical and personal memories versus semantic memory was a striking observation. Evidence for selective impairment of central semantic processing was obtained from experiments indicating item consistency of loss and the lack of semantic cuing. neuroimaging evidence of left temporal lobe atrophy and the classical picture is compatible with similar cases published under the term semantic dementia or "transcortical sensory aphasia with visual agnosia" and suggest the diagnosis of Pick's disease.
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