[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Turning while walking is a common but demanding task requiring modification of the motor program from linear walking to lateral turning and it is associated with a high risk of falls. Patients with cerebellar ataxia have unstable gait and report a high incidence of falls. In the present study, we investigated the motor strategies adopted by ataxic patients when performing turns of different degrees and directions of rotation. Ten ataxic patients and 10 controls were analyzed while performing 30°/90° turns to the right/left. We recorded the number of completed turn tasks, the number of steps needed, and the time taken to complete the task, time-distance parameters and the onset of head, trunk and pelvis reorientation. The ataxic patients were less able to complete 90° turns, displayed a greater stride width, shorter step length, and greater number of steps when turning, and were unable to flexibly adjust their stride width across the turning task. The duration of the turning task and of the segmental reorientation did not differ from control values. Our findings indicate that ataxic patients have more difficulties in performing large turns and adopt a series of compensatory strategy aimed at reducing the instability associated with turning, such as enlarge the base of support, shorten the step length, increase the number of steps, and use the "multi-step" rather than the "spin-turn" strategy. Given the high risk of falls related to this task, it would be useful to include turning training in the rehabilitation protocol of ataxic patients.
Experimental Brain Research 07/2012; 222(1-2):65-75. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modulation of nociceptive withdrawal reflex (NWR) excitability was evaluated during gait initiation in 10 healthy subjects to investigate how load- and movement-related joint inputs activate lower spinal centres in the transition from quiet stance to walking. A motion analysis system integrated with a surface EMG device was used to acquire kinematic, kinetic and EMG variables. Starting from a quiet stance, subjects were asked to walk forward, at their natural speed. The sural nerve was stimulated and EMG responses were recorded from major hip, knee and ankle muscles. Gait initiation was divided into four subphases based on centre of pressure and centre of mass behaviours, while joint displacements were used to categorise joint motion as flexion or extension. The reflex parameters were measured and compared between subphases and in relation to the joint kinematics.
The NWR was found to be subphase-dependent. NWR excitability was increased in the hip and knee flexor muscles of the starting leg, just prior to the occurrence of any movement, and in the knee flexor muscles of the same leg as soon as it was unloaded. The NWR was hip joint kinematics-dependent in a crossed manner. The excitability of the reflex was enhanced in the extensor muscles of the standing leg during the hip flexion of the starting leg, and in the hip flexors of the standing leg during the hip extension of the starting leg. No notable reflex modulation was observed in the ankle muscles.
Our findings show that the NWR is modulated during the gait initiation phase. Leg unloading and hip joint motion are the main sources of the observed modulation and work in concert to prepare and assist the starting leg in the first step while supporting the contralateral leg, thereby possibly predisposing the lower limbs to the cyclical pattern of walking.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives.- We investigated (1) a possible relationship between the functional activity of the endocannabinoid system and the facilitation of pain processing in migraineurs with medication-overuse headache, and (2) the effect of withdrawal treatment on both. Background.- The endocannabinoid system antinociception effect includes prevention of nociceptive pathways sensitization. The sensitization of the pain pathways has been demonstrated to be pivotal in the development and maintenance of chronic form of migraine, including medication-overuse headache. Methods.- We used the temporal summation threshold of the nociceptive withdrawal reflex to explore the spinal cord pain processing, and the platelet activity of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase to detect the functional state of the endocannabinoid system in 27 medication-overuse headache subjects before and 10 and 60 days after a standard withdrawal treatment and compared results with those of 14 controls. Results.- A significantly reduced temporal summation threshold and increased related pain sensation was found in subjects before withdrawal treatment when compared with controls. A significant fatty acid amide hydrolase activity reduction coupled with a significant improvement (reduction) in facilitation of spinal cord pain processing (increase in temporal summation threshold and reduction in related pain sensation) was found in medication-overuse headache subjects at both 10 and 60 days after withdrawal treatment when compared with medication-overuse headache subjects before withdrawal treatment. Conclusions.- We demonstrated a marked facilitation in spinal cord pain processing in medication-overuse headache before withdrawal treatment when compared with controls. Furthermore, the acute reduction of the fatty acid amide hydrolase activity coupled with a reduction of the facilitation in pain processing immediately (10 days) after withdrawal treatment and its persistence 60 days after withdrawal treatment could represent the consequence of a mechanism devoted to acutely reduce the degradation of endocannabinoids and aimed to increase the activity of the endocannabinoid system that results in an antinociceptive effect.
Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 06/2012; 52(9):1350-1361. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first edition of the Italian diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for primary headaches in adults was published in J Headache Pain 2(Suppl. 1):105-190 (2001). Ten years later, the guideline committee of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches (SISC) decided it was time to update therapeutic guidelines. A literature search was carried out on Medline database, and all articles on primary headache treatments in English, German, French and Italian published from February 2001 to December 2011 were taken into account. Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analyses were analysed for each drug. If RCT were lacking, open studies and case series were also examined. According to the previous edition, four levels of recommendation were defined on the basis of levels of evidence, scientific strength of evidence and clinical effectiveness. Recommendations for symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine and cluster headache were therefore revised with respect to previous 2001 guidelines and a section was dedicated to non-pharmacological treatment. This article reports a summary of the revised version published in extenso in an Italian version.
The Journal of Headache and Pain 05/2012; 13 Suppl 2:S31-70. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our study is aimed to evaluate the spinal cord pain processing in Huntington's disease (HD) by testing both the temporal summation threshold (TST) of the nociceptive withdrawal reflex (NWR) and the functional activity of the diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC) as form of supraspinal control of pain.
We enrolled 19 HD patients and 17 healthy controls. We measured threshold (Th), Area, TST and related psychophysical pain sensations of the NWR, at baseline and during and after activation of the DNIC by means of cold pressor test (CPT) as heterotopic noxious conditioning stimulation.
In HD patients we found a significantly higher Th and TST as well as a lower Area when compared to controls. During the CPT, a significant inhibition of reflex and psychophysical pain responses were found in both HD patients and controls when compared to baseline, without differences between the groups in CPT results.
Our study demonstrated an abnormal spinal cord pain processing in HD patients. Abnormalities in pain processing are not apparently linked to a dysfunctional DNIC inhibitory projection system in HD patients.
Our findings support the hypothesis that the striatum could play a role in pain modulation and that its atrophy could affect pain processing without change the DNIC efficiency.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 02/2012; 123(8):1624-30. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal postures of the trunk are a typical feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). These include Pisa syndrome (PS), a tonic lateral flexion of the trunk associated with slight rotation along the sagittal plane. In this study we describe clinical, electromyographic (EMG), and radiological features of PS in a group of 20 PD patients. All patients with trunk deviation underwent EMG and radiological (RX and CT scan) investigation. Clinical characteristics of patients with PS were compared with a control group of PD patients without trunk deviation. PD patients with PS showed a significantly higher score of disease asymmetry compared with the control group. In the majority of patients with PS, trunk bending was contralateral to the side of symptom onset. EMG showed abnormal tonic hyperactivity on the side of the deviation in the paravertebral thoracic muscles and in the abdominal oblique muscles. CT of the lumbar paraspinal muscles showed muscular atrophy more marked on the side of the deviation, with a craniocaudal gradient. PS may represent a complication of advanced PD in a subgroup of patients who show more marked asymmetry of disease and who have detectable hyperactivity of the dorsal paravertebral muscles on the less affected side. This postural abnormality deserves attention and proper early treatment to prevent comorbidities and pain.
Movement Disorders 02/2012; 27(2):227-35. · 5.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study set out to characterise the pattern of planned gait termination in a sample of patients with cerebellar diseases. The gait termination phase was recorded, using a motion analysis system, in ten patients with primary degenerative cerebellar disease and in ten controls. The subjects were instructed to walk at different gait speeds and to stop in response to an acoustic signal. Time-distance parameters (step length, step width, double support duration, time-to-slow, stopping time, centre of mass velocity and number of steps) and stability index-related parameters (distance between the "extrapolated centre of mass" (XCoM) and centre of pressure (CoP)) were measured at both matched and self-selected gait speeds. At matched speed the patients, compared with the controls, showed a reduced step length, a greater first and second step width and used more steps to stop. At self-selected speed, almost all the parameters differed from those of the controls. Furthermore, the patients showed an increased stability index, suggesting that they need to maintain a "safety margin" between the XCoM and CoP during the gait termination. Patients develop a series of compensatory strategies in order to preserve balance during planned gait termination, e.g. increasing their step width and number of steps. Ataxic patients need to maintain a safety margin in order to avoid instability when stopping. Given the potential risk of falls when stopping, walking ataxic patients may benefit from a rehabilitation treatment focused on preserving and improving their ability to terminate gait safely.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical experience suggests that application of the fundamental principles of rehabilitation medicine can improve the care of patients with cancer. Despite the high incidence of neurological and functional deficits in patients affected by brain tumours (BTs), rehabilitation treatment of this population is not as well established as it is for patients with other neurological conditions. To assess functional outcome in brain tumour inpatients who underwent early rehabilitation after surgery. 75 patients who had undergone neurosurgery for primary BTs and 75 patients affected by stroke were enrolled in a case-control study. All patients were evaluated by means of a core set of clinical scales (Functional Independence Measure, Sitting Balance score, Standing Balance score, Hauser Index, Massachusetts General Hospital Functional Ambulation Classification). Patients were evaluated before the beginning (T0) and at the end (T1) of rehabilitation treatment. The neurorehabilitation programme consisted of individual 60-min sessions of treatment, administered once a day, six days a week, for four consecutive weeks. Speech therapy was included when aphasia was diagnosed. All the measures of outcome were indicative of substantial improvements for neuro-oncological and for stroke patients (P = 0.000). Analysis of subgroups showed that patients affected by meningioma achieved better results (in efficiency terms) as regards independence in activities of daily living (P = 0.02) and mobility (P = 0.04) compared with patients affected by glioblastoma or stroke. Rehabilitation after surgery can improve functional outcome, justifying the delivery of rehabilitation services, even during the acute phase, to BTs inpatients, irrespective of tumour type.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 11/2011; 107(3):537-44. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: We tested the usability and usefulness of the basic diagnostic headache diary (BDHD) for the diagnosis of migraine, tension-type headache and medication-overuse headache in European and Latin American countries.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the behavior of the nociceptive withdrawal reflex (NWR) in the upper limb during reaching and grasping movements in post-stroke hemiparetic patients.
Eight patients with chronic stroke and moderate motor deficits were included. An optoelectronic motion analysis system integrated with a surface EMG machine was used to record the kinematic and EMG data. The NWR was evoked through a painful electrical stimulation of the index finger during a movement which consisted of reaching out, picking up a cylinder, and returning it to the starting position.
We found that: (i) the NWR is extensively rearranged in hemiparetic patients, who were found to present different kinematic and EMG reflex patterns with respect to controls; (ii) patients partially lose the ability to modulate the reflex in the different movement phases; (iii) the impairment of the reflex modulation occurs at single-muscle, single-joint and multi-joint level.
Patients with chronic and mild-moderate post-stroke motor deficits lose the ability to modulate the NWR dynamically according to the movement variables at individual as well as at multi-muscle and joint levels.
The central nervous system is unable to use the NWR substrate dynamically and flexibly in order to select the muscle synergies needed to govern the spatio-temporal interaction among joints.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 08/2011; 123(3):527-40. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our aim was to perform a comprehensive analysis of the global and segmental features of gait in patients with genetically confirmed inherited ataxias. Sixteen patients with autosomal dominant (spinocerebellar ataxia, SCA1 or 2) or recessive (Friedreich's ataxia, FRDA) ataxia were studied. We used a motion analysis system to record gait kinematic and kinetic data. We measured the mean values of global (time-distance parameters, COM displacement, support moment) and segmental gait parameters (joint displacement and inter-joint coordination), as both discrete and continuous variables, and their variability and correlations with International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) scores. We found a marked difference in all global gait parameters between the ataxic patients and the controls and close correlations between longer stride and stance duration and lower gait, posture and total ICARS scores. The only difference between the two patient groups was a shorter step length in the FRDA patients. As regards the segmental features, we found a significantly different waveform shape for all continuous kinematic and kinetic measures between the ataxic patients and the healthy controls, but only minor differences for the discrete measures. Intersegmental coordination evaluated using the continuous relative phase method revealed an irregular alternating joint behaviour without clear evidence of the synchronous pattern of alternating proximal/distal joint seen in healthy subjects. For almost all gait parameters we observed a markedly higher intra-subject variability in the ataxic patients versus the controls, which was strongly related to the clinical ICARS scores. Patients with chronic, progressive inherited ataxias lose the ability to "stabilize" a walking pattern that can be repeated over time. The most peculiar aspect of the gait of inherited ataxia patients, regardless the different genetic forms, seems to be the presence of increased variability of all global and segmental parameters rather than an invariant abnormal gait pattern.
The Cerebellum 06/2011; 11(1):194-211. · 2.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medication-overuse headache (MOH) represents a severely disabling condition, with a low response to prophylactic treatments. Recently, consistent evidences have emerged in favor of botulinum toxin type-A (onabotulinum toxin A) as prophylactic treatment in chronic migraine. In a 12-week double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled study, we tested the efficacy and safety of onabotulinum toxin A as prophylactic treatment for MOH. A total of 68 patients were randomized (1:1) to onabotulinum toxin A (n = 33) or placebo (n = 35) treatment and received 16 intramuscular injections. The primary efficacy end point was mean change from baseline in the frequency of headache days for the 28-day period ending with week 12. No significant differences between onabotulinum toxin A and placebo treatment were detected in the primary (headache days) end point (12.0 vs. 15.9; p = 0.81). A significant reduction was recorded in the secondary end point, mean acute pain drug consumption at 12 weeks in onabotulinum toxin A-treated patients when compared with those with placebo (12.1 vs. 18.0; p = 0.03). When we considered the subgroup of patients with pericranial muscle tenderness, we recorded a significant improvement in those treated with onabotulinum toxin A compared to placebo treated in both primary (headache days) and secondary end points (acute pain drug consumption, days with drug consumption), as well as in pain intensity and disability measures (HIT-6 and MIDAS) at 12 weeks. Onabotulinum toxin A was safe and well tolerated, with few treatment-related adverse events. Few subjects discontinued due to adverse events. Our data identified the presence of pericranial muscle tenderness as predictor of response to onabotulinum toxin A in patients with complicated form of migraine such as MOH, the presence of pericranial muscle tenderness and support it as prophylactic treatment in these patients.
The Journal of Headache and Pain 04/2011; 12(4):427-33. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large number of instrumental investigations are used in patients with non-acute headache in both research and clinical fields. Although the literature has shown that most of these tools contributed greatly to increasing understanding of the pathogenesis of primary headache, they are of little or no value in the clinical setting.
This paper provides an update of the 2004 EFNS guidelines and recommendations for the use of neurophysiological tools and neuroimaging procedures in non-acute headache (first edition). Even though the period since the publication of the first edition has seen an increase in the number of published papers dealing with this topic, the updated guidelines contain only minimal changes in the levels of evidence and grades of recommendation.
(i) Interictal EEG is not routinely indicated in the diagnostic evaluation of patients with headache. Interictal EEG is, however, indicated if the clinical history suggests a possible diagnosis of epilepsy (differential diagnosis). Ictal EEG could be useful in certain patients suffering from hemiplegic or basilar migraine. (ii) Recording evoked potentials is not recommended for the diagnosis of headache disorders. (iii) There is no evidence warranting recommendation of reflex responses or autonomic tests for the routine clinical examination of patients with headache. (iv) Manual palpation of pericranial muscles, with standardized palpation pressure, can be recommended for subdividing patient groups but not for diagnosis. Pain threshold measurements and EMG are not recommended as clinical diagnostic tests. (v) In adult and pediatric patients with migraine, with no recent change in attack pattern, no history of seizures, and no other focal neurological symptoms or signs, the routine use of neuroimaging is not warranted. In patients with trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, neuroimaging should be carefully considered and may necessitate additional scanning of intracranial/cervical vasculature and/or the sellar/orbital/(para)nasal region. In patients with atypical headache patterns, a history of seizures and/or focal neurological symptoms or signs, MRI may be indicated. (vi) If attacks can be fully accounted for by the standard headache classification (IHS), a PET or SPECT scan will normally be of no further diagnostic value. Nuclear medical examinations of the cerebral circulation and metabolism can be carried out in subgroups of patients with headache for the diagnosis and evaluation of complications, when patients experience unusually severe attacks or when the quality or severity of attacks has changed. (vii) Transcranial Doppler examination is not helpful in headache diagnosis.
Although many of the examinations described in the present guidelines are of little or no value in the clinical setting, most of the tools, including thermal pain thresholds and transcranial magnetic stimulation, have considerable potential for differential diagnostic evaluation as well as for the further exploration of headache pathophysiology and the effects of pharmacological treatment.
European Journal of Neurology 03/2011; 18(3):373-81. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The visual system in walking serves to perceive feedback or feed-forward signals. Therefore, visually impaired persons (VIP) have biased motor control mechanisms. The use of leading indicators (LIs) and long canes helps to improve their walking efficiency. The aims of this study were to compare the walking efficiency of VIP on trapezoidal- and sinusoidal-section LIs using an optoelectronic motion analysis system. VIP displayed a significantly longer stance phase, a shorter swing phase and shorter step and stride lengths when they walked on the sinusoidal LI than when they walked on the trapezoidal LI. Compared with the trapezoidal LI, VIP walking on the sinusoidal LI displayed significantly lower joint ranges of motion. The centre of mass lateral displacement was wider for VIP walking on the sinusoidal LI than on the trapezoidal LI. Some significant differences were also found in sighted persons walking on both LIs. In conclusion, the trapezoidal shape enabled visually impaired subjects to walk more efficiently, whereas the sinusoidal shape caused dynamic balance problems. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: These findings suggest that VIP can walk more efficiently, with a lower risk of falls, on trapezoidal-section than on sinusoidal-section LIs. These results should be considered when choosing the most appropriate ground tactile surface indicators for widespread use.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trigemino-cervical reflexes (TCRs) are electromyographic responses induced by electrical stimulation of the trigeminal nerve and recorded in the neck muscles. Trigemino-cervical reflexes are detectable in Parkinson's disease, whereas they are absent in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an atypical parkinsonism associated with brainstem degeneration. To date, no study has investigated TCRs in multiple system atrophy (MSA), another atypical parkinsonism associated with brainstem involvement, which resembles PSP.
To understand whether TCRs are helpful in differentiating PSP from MSA, we compared the TCRs recorded in 10 PSP patients with those obtained from 10 patients diagnosed as having probable MSA, parkinsonian type (MSA-P).
Trigemino-cervical reflexes were not recorded in any of the PSP patients, while they were clearly detectable in all the MSA-P patients.
Trigemino-cervical reflex recording is a rapid neurophysiological method, which could assist in the differential diagnosis between PSP and MSA-P.
This study further improves our understanding of the different neuronal functioning of extrapyramidal disorders. TCRs monitoring may be useful to support the diagnosis of atypical parkinsonisms especially when clinical evidence is uncertain.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 03/2011; 122(9):1812-5. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alien hand syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by involuntary and uncontrollable motor behaviour, usually of an arm or hand. The patient perceives the affected limb as alien, and may personify it. The case of a 61-year-old right-handed woman who developed right posterior AHS after ischaemic stroke in the left posterior cerebral artery territory is reported. Neuroimaging studies disclosed no frontal or parietal involvement, while a posterior thalamic lesion was detected. A possible role of the thalamus in the genesis of AHS is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic nitroglycerin (NTG) produces spontaneous-like migraine attacks in migraine sufferers and induces a condition of hyperalgesia in the rat 4 h after its administration. Endocannabinoid system seems to be involved in the modulation of NTG-induced hyperalgesia, and probably, in the pathophysiological mechanisms of migraine. In this study, the analgesic effect of anandamide (AEA) was evaluated by means of the formalin test, performed in baseline conditions and following NTG-induced hyperalgesia in male Sprague-Dawley rats. AEA was administered 30 min before the formalin injection. In addition, the effect of AEA (administered 30 min before NTG injection) was investigated on NTG-induced Fos expression and evaluated 4 h following NTG injection. AEA induced a significant decrease in the nociceptive behavior during both phases of the formalin test in the animals treated with vehicle, while it abolished NTG-induced hyperalgesia during the phase II. Pre-treatment with AEA significantly reduced the NTG-induced neuronal activation in nucleus trigeminalis caudalis, confirming the results obtained in our previous study, and in area postrema, while the same treatment induced an increase of Fos expression in paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus, parabrachial nucleus, and periaqueductal grey. The study confirms that a dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the development of migraine attacks and that a pharmacological modulation of CB receptors can be useful for the treatment of migraine pain.
The Journal of Headache and Pain 02/2011; 12(2):177-83. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: So far, clinical neurophysiological studies on tension-type headache (TTH) have been conducted with two main purposes: (1) to establish whether some neurophysiological parameters may act as markers of TTH, and (2) to investigate the physiopathology of TTH. With regard to the first point, the present results are disappointing, since some abnormalities found in TTH patients may be frequently observed also in migraineurs. On the other hand, clinical neurophysiology has played an important role in the debate about the pathogenesis of TTH. Studies on the exteroceptive suppression of the temporalis muscle contraction have detected a dysfunction of the brainstem excitability and of its suprasegmental control. A similar conclusion has been reached by using the trigeminocervical reflexes, whose abnormalities in TTH have suggested a reduced inhibitory activity of brainstem interneurons, reflecting abnormal endogenous pain control mechanisms. It is interesting that the neural excitability abnormality in TTH seems to be a generalized phenomenon, not limited to the cranial districts. Defective DNIC-like mechanisms have indeed been evidenced also in somatic districts by nociceptive flexion reflex studies. Unfortunately, most neurophysiological studies on TTH are marred by serious methodological flaws, which should be avoided in future researches, in order to better clarify the TTH mechanisms.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 02/2011; 122(6):1075-85. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the prevalence of hypertension-migraine comorbidity; to determine their demographic and clinical characteristics versus patients with hypertension or migraine alone; and to see whether a history of cerebrovascular events was more common in the comorbidity group.
The MIRACLES, multicenter, cross-sectional, survey included 2973 patients with a known diagnosis of hypertension or migraine in a general practitioner setting in Italy.
Five hundred and seventeen patients (17%) suffered from hypertension-migraine comorbidity, whereas 1271 (43%) suffered from hypertension only, and 1185 (40%) from migraine only. In the comorbidity group, the onset of comorbidity occurred at about 45 years of age, with migraine starting significantly later than in the migraine-only group, and hypertension significantly before than in the hypertension-only group; a familial history of both hypertension and migraine had a significantly higher frequency as compared with the hypertension and migraine group. Compared to hypertension (3.1%) and migraine (0.7%), the comorbidity group had a higher prevalence (4.4%) of history of cerebrovascular events, with an odds ratio of a predicted history of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) of 1.76 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-3.07] compared to the hypertension group. In patients without other recognized risk factors for stroke, stroke/TIA occurred more frequently in the comorbidity group, compared to the hypertension group. In the age range 40-49 years, prevalence of history of stroke/TIA was five-fold greater (4.8% in comorbidity vs. 0.9% in hypertension group).
This cross-sectional study indicates that the prevalence of comorbidity hypertension-migraine is substantial and that patients with comorbidity have a higher probability of history of cerebrovascular events, compared to hypertensive patients.
Journal of Hypertension 02/2011; 29(2):309-18. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pain is one of the major nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. We hypothesized that Parkinson's disease patients could show an early diffuse abnormal processing of the nociceptive inputs also in the absence of clinical pain syndrome and that this could represent the physiopathological substrate to explain the high incidence of diffuse pain symptoms.
We used the temporal summation threshold of the nociceptive withdrawal reflex and the related pain sensation to evaluate the facilitation in pain processing at spinal level. Fifteen (7 Women; 8 Men; mean age 63.0 ± 9.1) Parkinson's disease patients without clinical pain and 12 (6 Women, 6 Men; mean age 61.2 ± 4.2) healthy subjects were recruited. Parkinson's disease group has been subdivided into two subgroups, 7 early-stage Parkinson's disease patients with unilateral signs (Hoehn and Yahr stage 1) and 8 patients in a more advanced stage of the disease showing bilateral parkinsonian signs (Hoehn and Yahr stages 2 and 2.5), both "on" and "off" treatments with levodopa.
A significant facilitation in temporal summation of pain (reduced temporal summation threshold and increased painful sensation) was found in Parkinson's disease patients when compared with controls. This facilitation is more evident in Parkinson's disease with bilateral signs and on the side more affected in Parkinson's disease with unilateral signs. Levodopa administration failed to significantly modify the neurophysiological abnormalities; however, a slight improvement has been detected.
The increased gain in pain processing at spinal level in Parkinson's disease patients could be a consequence of the degenerative phenomena involving supraspinal projections implicated in the modulation of pain processing and could make Parkinson's disease patients more predisposed to develop a pain condition.
Movement Disorders 02/2011; 26(3):442-8. · 5.63 Impact Factor