Multiple sclerosis enters a grey area

The idea that multiple sclerosis (MS), the quintessential white matter brain disease, is also a grey matter disease, is a bit of a shock to the traditional neurologist. The grave implication is that MS, the ultimate neuroinflammatory disease, is also a neurodegenerative disorder. This paradigm shift has all to do with the much better imaging tools available which show the grey matter changes in MS. And this editorial, published in the journal Nature in 2019, sums up the situation aptly, and catchily. The paper on which the editorial is based discusses how T cells interact with β-synuclein to cause the grey matter pathology in Lewis rats (rodents susceptible to experimental inflammatory diseases). Catchy editorials like this are doing a good job of taking us into the grey zone, and enabling us to see MS as much more than just relapses and progression.

By Mgconcrete – Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Don’t just stand there: do something!

If this headline doesn’t stop you in your tracks, then nothing ever will. The full title of this editorial is Don’t just stand there: do something! The case for peri-ictal intervention”, and it comes from the journal Epilepsy Currents published in 2019. The paper it comments on, published in the journal Neurology in 2019, investigated the risk factors and best treatment for post-ictal hypoxaemia, that is low oxygen levels after generalised convulsions. It is not clear that the paper adds any new insights apart from stating the rather obvious fact that generalised convulsions lead to low blood oxygen levels. They however point out that the earlier oxygen is administered, the better the outcome. Not exactly groundbreaking research, but it resulted in an excellent catchy editorial.

Lightning over Maidstone, Kent. Sprogz on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sprogz/14502687917

Heartbreakers

This editorial, full title being Heartbreakers-cardiac stress after uncomplicated generalized convulsive seizures”, is from the journal Epilepsy Currents published in 2019. And it is all about the risk of potentially fatal cardiac complications of epilepsy. The author was commenting on a paper published in the journal Epilepsia in 2019, which investigated the biomarkers of cardiac stress after a generalised convulsion. In essence, they were on the hunt for any red flags of fatal arrythmias, and of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. And (you may insert drum roll here) the leading heartbreaker turned out to be… high‐sensitive troponin T (hsTNT). A catchy title to remind us that the heart is at risk in epilepsy.

Mr. Bowie. L’Orso Sul Monociclo on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/reallyterriblephotographer/5675092938

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Catchy titles help make the point. And there are more in the pipeline; the next in the series will look at catchy titles from the neurology archives. Watch this space, as they say.



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