M L Vaccario

The Catholic University of America, Washington, Washington, D.C., United States

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Publications (44)

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (1) To measure depressive and dissociative symptoms in a population of patients with Non-Epileptic Seizures (NES, or pseudo-seizures); (2) To compare NES with Epileptic subjects and Normal controls; (3) To try to define a personality profile specific, or typical, of NES patients. Patients: 30 consecutive patients (21 females and 9 males, mean age 32.9+/-11.7 years) with NES diagnosed on clinical basis and confirmed by video-EEG recording; 30 patients with epilepsy matched for age and sex who had presented at least two seizures in the 12 months prior to the study despite pharmacological treatment; 30 Control subjects, healthy volunteers, matched for age and sex. Psychometric evaluation: Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS), Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). Groups were compared by means of one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for independent samples, followed by posthoc Tukey HSD Test, with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Depressive and dissociative symptoms showed a significantly higher prevalence in the NES group as compared to Epileptics (p<0.001) and Controls (p<0.001), whereas patients with epilepsy did not differ from Controls. The analysis of the MMPI-2 in NES group showed a general increase in most MMPI-2 T-scores as compared to Epileptics and Controls, rather than a constant elevation (T-score>70) of one or more scales. No specific personality profile could be identified for the NES group. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that depression and dissociative mechanisms are important precursors to the development and expression of NES.
    Full-text Article · Feb 2009 · Epilepsy research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim of the study: 1) To measure depressive and dissociative symptoms in a population of patients with Non-Epileptic Seizures (NES) or pseudo-seizures; 2) To compare NES with epileptic subjects and normal controls; 3) To try to define a personality profile specific, or typical, of NES patients. Materials and methods: The sample was represented by 30 consecutive patients with NES diagnosed on clinical basis and confirmed by video-EEG recording; 30 epileptic patients; 30 control subjects. All patients completed a psychometric evaluation with Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS), Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). Results: Depressive and dissociative symptoms showed a significantly higher prevalence in the NES group as compared to epileptics (p < 0.001) and controls (p < 0.001), whereas epileptics did not differ from controls. The analysis of the MMPI-2 in NES group showed a general increase in most MMPI-2 T-scores as compared to epileptics and controls. Conclusions: Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that depression and dissociative mechanisms are important precursors to the development and expression of NES.
    Article · Dec 2008
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    Full-text Article · Mar 2007 · Neurology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We followed 419 patients with a first, unprovoked, primarily or secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizure, randomized to immediate antiepileptic treatment or to treatment only in the event of seizure recurrence. The probability of achieving a 2-year remission was 72 vs 57% at 3 months, 84 to 79% at 3 years, and 85 to 86% at 10 years (p = NS). The probability of entering 5-year remission was 47 to 40, 58 to 58, and 64 to 64% (p = NS). Early treatment does not affect the long-term prognosis of epilepsy.
    Full-text Article · Jan 2007 · Neurology
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    M Mazza · A Martini · M A Valenti · [...] · S Mazza
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pseudoseizures or nonepileptic seizures (NES) are termed "nonepileptic psychogenic seizures" and account for approximately 20% of all intractable seizure disorders. These seizures are often misdiagnosed as true epilepsy, resulting in inappropriate, ineffective and costly treatment of many patients. Nowadays video-EEG monitoring have greatly improved the ability of specialists to correctly distinguish NES from epilepsy. Nevertheless, patients with NES do not always demonstrate obvious psychopathology. The aim of this study is to examine the complexity and severity of psychopathological features of patients with NES, in order to optimize strategies of intervention and appropriate long-term psychological and psychopharmacological treatment for these patients. We evaluated three samples: patients with NES, patients with epilepsy and a control sample. Subjects with pseudoseizures and epileptic seizures have been randomly recruited from the Epilepsy Centre at the Neurology Institute of Catholic University of Sacred Heart of Rome. Seizures have been documented by the recording of spontaneous events with video-EEG, EEG, clinical observation and ictal examination. Each sample of patients has been tested using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS), Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Short Form Health Survey 36 (SF-36). 17 (4 M; 13 F) patients with NES, 13 (3 M; 10 F) patients with epilepsy and 16 (4 M; 12 F) control subjects were recruited. Our preliminary results confirm previous researches showing that NES typically manifest between 20 and 30 years of age and that approximately a three-quarters of all patients are women. Besides, they confirm that psychosocial, environmental and intrapsychic mechanisms interact in the aetiology of NES: in particular, our preliminary results are consistent with the hypothesis that traumatic experiences are important precursors to the development and expression of NES. This study has yielded promising results and confirm the necessity to improve our knowledge about psychopathology of patients with NES. Psychiatrists and neurologists should work in equipe to guarantee an adequate treatment for a pathology too long set aside and almost ignored from clinical research.
    Full-text Article · May 2006 · La Clinica terapeutica
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    Full-text Article · Jan 2006 · La Clinica terapeutica
  • C Armelisasso · M L Vaccario · A Pontecorvi · S Mazza
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoparathyroidism, a life threatening disorder, occurs when insufficient parathyroid hormone is produced to maintain extracellular calcium levels within the normal range. The acute clinical signs and symptoms of hypoparathyroidism are the same as those of hypocalcemia, ranging from tingling to intractable generalized tonic-clonic seizures; therefore, it can be mistaken for epilepsy. We report the case of a 36-year-old man who presented two tonic-clonic seizures, characterized by sudden loss of consciousness with a fall and diffuse tonic contractions and clonic jerks. At first diagnosis of epilepsy was established and therapy with valproate was commenced. In the following days, the patient presented typical signs of hypocalcemia and the diagnosis of hypoparathyroidism was made. In the 4 months follow up, antiepileptic drug therapy was reduced until suspension and calcium supplementation was initiated. We briefly review the most recent reports in the literature.
    Article · May 2004 · Clinical EEG and neuroscience: official journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS)
  • T Voit · P Kutz · B Leube · [...] · R Herrmann
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1995 Laing et al. (Am J Hum Genet 56(1995)422) described a single family with nine members affected by an autosomal dominant infantile onset distal myopathy. This family generated a LOD score of 2.6 for a locus on chromosome 14. We describe two families with an infantile onset distal myopathy: a new family with four affected members and the family previously described by Scoppetta et al. (Acta Neurol Scand 92(1955)122) in both of which haplotype segregation was compatible with linkage to the same chromosome 14 locus, generating LOD scores of 0.9 at a penetrance of 100% for the markers D14S283 and D14S64 (theta=0) in both families. The loci for autosomal recessive hereditary inclusion body myopathy and Nonaka myopathy on chromosome 9 and for autosomal dominant distal myopathy of Markesberry-Griggs and Udd on chromosome 2q31-33 were excluded by linkage analysis. The disease followed a uniform course with selective wasting of the anterior tibial muscles, starting in infancy and recognizable by a characteristic clinical sign of the 'hanging big toe'. This was followed by slow progression, with involvement of the finger and wrist extensor muscles in the third decade and proximal limb muscles in the fourth decade. Interestingly, we also found evidence of an accompanying mild peripheral neuropathy in the oldest individual with hypomyelination of numerous large myelinated fibres. In addition, this patient's muscle biopsy also showed autophagic vacuoles and numerous intranuclear tubulo-filamentous inclusions of 15-20 nm diameter. Given that all three families with infantile onset distal myopathy are compatible with linkage to the same locus on chromosome 14, this study supports evidence for, and enlarges the clinical and neuropathological spectrum of the distal myopathy on chromosome 14.
    Article · Feb 2001 · Neuromuscular Disorders
  • C Scoppetta · B Mercuri · R Di Lello · [...] · M L Vaccario
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The “distal myopathies” include autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and sporadic disorders. Two of the recessive disorders are considered to be definitive entities: Miyoshi's myopathy, which has an early adult onset and first involves the calf muscles, and distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles. We here describe the cases of two sisters and compare them with previously reported cases. The disorder in our patients is characterised by: a) autosomal recessive inheritance; b) onset in early adult life; c) initial involvement of the tibialis anterior and peroneal muscles; d) subsequent involvement of the calf muscles spreading to the proximal muscles of the legs and, later, the arms; e) a moderately disabling evolution over a period of 10–12 years; f) marked and stably high serum levels of CK and other enzymes; g) EMG evidence of myopathic damage, with fibrillation at rest; and h) a histological picture of dystrophic myopathy, with atrophy of mainly type 2 fibres. We think that this syndrome is different from the two forms of autosomal recessive distal myopathy mentioned above.
    Article · Nov 1997 · The Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Only a few cases reported in the literature fulfil the currently established criteria for accepting the traumatic origin of some intracranial tumors. A case of post-traumatic glioma is presented. Several years after sustaining a commotive left parietal trauma, our patient developed symptoms of intracranial tumor. Neuroimaging (CT and MRI) showed a large neoplasia in the left temporo-parietal-occipital region, and stereotactic biopsy revealed a mixed glioma in continuity with the scar resulting from the trauma.
    Article · Sep 1996 · The Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences
  • Article · Jan 1996 · Bollettino - Lega Italiana contro l'Epilessia
  • C Scoppetta · C Casali · I La Cesa · [...] · M L Vaccario
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distal myopathies are currently regarded as a non-homogeneous group of disorders including different autosomal dominant, recessive and sporadic forms. The cases of a mother and her son and daughter are described and compared to previously reported cases from 4 families. Despite minor differences, the clinical picture is remarkably homogeneous, both within the same family and among different families. A distinct clinical form can be identified including: a) autosomal dominant inheritance; b) onset in infancy or childhood with peroneal muscles weakness; c) not disabling evolution in spite of possible late involvement of muscles others than tibio-peroneal; d) usually normal serum CK and other muscle enzymes; e) EMG evidence of primary myogenic damage; f) morphological findings of non-specific myopathy. Because of the benign evolution and the absence of true dystrophic changes in most biopsies we suggest the term infantile autosomal dominant distal myopathy should be preferred to infantile autosomal dominant distal muscular dystrophy.
    Article · Sep 1995 · Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
  • Article · Jan 1995 · Epilepsia
  • S. Mazza · Vaccario M.L. · Di Trapani G. · Mennuni G.
    Article · Jan 1995 · Epilepsia
  • Mazza S. · Vaccario M.L. · Di Trapani G. · Mennuni G
    Article · Jan 1995 · Epilepsia
  • Article · Jan 1995 · Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
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    Mazza S. · Della Marca G. · Ferini-Strambi L. · [...] · Vaccario M.L
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is associated with modification in thalamic structure and function. In particular, thalamic atrophy and hypometabolism can occur, affecting ipsilateral, contralateral thalami or both. We describe a 28-year-old epileptic woman, who presented peculiar neuroimaging findings, with enlargement of the thalamus contralateral to the epileptic focus. The patient was born from dystocic delivery, she presented partial motor seizures in the left side of the body, followed by generalisation, and the EEG showed a right temporal epileptic focus. Serial CT and MRI scan, performed along 11 years, showed a non-evolutive left thalamomegaly. 18-FDG PET showed reduced metabolic activity in the upper right temporal gyrus and in the ipsilateral thalamus. Thalamic asymmetry in our patient could be an occasional finding.
    Full-text Article · Jan 1995 · Epilepsia
  • G. Della Marca · M.L. Vaccario · M.A. Petrella · [...] · G.F. Mennuni
    Article · Aug 1993
  • ML Vaccario · A. Rossi · G. Di Lella · [...] · PA Tonali
    Article · Aug 1993 · Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Mazza S. · Rossi A. · Di Perri R. · [...] · Vaccario M.L
    Article · Jan 1993 · Epilepsia