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de Carvalho M.,Hospital Of Santa Maria Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Norte | de Carvalho M.,University of Lisbon | Swash M.,University of Lisbon | Swash M.,Queen Mary, University of London
Clinical Neurophysiology | Year: 2016

In the motor system there is a complex interplay between cortical structures and spinal cord lower motor neurons (LMN). In this system both inhibitory and excitatory neurons have relevant roles. LMN loss is a marker of motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS). Conventional needle electromyography (EMG) does not allow LMN loss to be quantified. Measurement of compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude or area, and the neurophysiological index, provide a surrogate estimate of the number of functional motor units. Increased motor neuronal excitability is a neurophysiological marker of ALS in the context of a suspected clinical and electrophysiological diagnosis. In the LMN system, fasciculation potentials (FPs) are the earliest changes observed in affected muscles, a feature of LMN hyperexcitability. Reinnervation is best investigated by needle EMG although other methods can be explored. Moreover needle EMG give information about the temporal profile of the reinnervation process, important ancillary data. Quantitative motor unit potential analysis is a valuable method of evaluating reinnervation. The importance of FPs has been recognized in the Awaji criteria for the electrodiagnosis of ALS, criteria that are a sensitive adjunct to the revised El Escorial criteria. Finally, functionality of LMN's, and perhaps excitability studies in motor nerves, aids understanding of the disease process, allowing measurement of potential treatment effects in clinical trials. Other investigational techniques, such as electrical impedance myography, muscle and nerve ultrasound, and spinal cord imaging methods may prove useful in future. © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology Source


Djokovic D.,Hospital Of Santa Maria Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Norte | Djokovic D.,University of Lisbon | Calhaz-Jorge C.,Hospital Of Santa Maria Centro Hospitalar Of Lisbon Norte | Calhaz-Jorge C.,University of Lisbon
Acta Medica Portuguesa | Year: 2014

Introduction: Angiogenesis is a key factor for the successful establishment and growth of endometriotic lesions. Material and Methods: We performed a literature search in PubMed and reviewed the most pertinent studies published until January 2014 and focused on the endometriosis-associated angiogenesis and/or anti-angiogenic strategies for the treatment of this gynecological disorder. Results: The present review provides a concise summary of the known molecular mechanisms that promote vascularization of endometriotic lesions and may serve as potential therapeutic targets. We also present a systematic overview of the inclusive and exclusive anti-angiogenic agents that have been already studied in cell cultures, animal models and/or endometriosis patients. Discussion and Conclusion: The integration of anti-angiogenic approaches in the multimodal management strategies for endometriosis patients will be conditioned by the outcomes of future assessments regarding the effectiveness of such treatments, the risk of drug resistance development and the incidence of unacceptable side effects. © Ordem dos Médicos 2014. Source

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