It is well-known that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays significant roles in transporting intravascular substances into the brain. The BBB in cerebral capillaries essentially impedes the influx of intravascular compounds from the blood to the brain, while nutritive substances, such as glucose, can be selectively transported through several types of influx transporters in endothelial cells. In the choroid plexus, intravascular substances can invade the parenchyma as fenestrations exist in endothelial cells of capillaries. However, the substances cannot invade the ventricles easily as there are tight junctions between epithelial cells in the choroid plexus. This restricted movement of the substances across the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells constitutes a blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB). In the brain, there are circumventricular organs, in which the barrier function is imperfect in capillaries. Accordingly, it is reasonable to consider that intravascular substances can move in and around the parenchyma of the organs. Actually, it was reported in mice that intravascular substances moved in the corpus callosum, medial portions of the hippocampus, and periventricular areas via the subfornical organs or the choroid plexus. Regarding pathways of intracerebral interstitial and cerebrospinal fluids to the outside of the brain, two representative drainage pathways, or perivascular drainage and glymphatic pathways, are being established. The first is the pathway in a retrograde direction to the blood flow through the basement membrane in walls of cerebral capillaries, the tunica media of arteries, and the vessels walls of the internal carotid artery. The second is in an anterograde direction to blood flow through the para-arterial routes, aquaporin 4-dependent transport through the astroglial cytoplasm, and para-venous routes, and then the fluids drain into the subarachnoid CSF. These fluids are finally considered to drain into the cervical lymph nodes or veins. These clearance pathways may play a role in maintenance of the barrier in the entire brain. Obstruction of the passage of fluids through the perivascular drainage and glymphatic pathways as well as damage of the BBB and BCSFB may induce several kinds of brain disorders, such as vascular dementia. In this review, we focus on the relationship between damage of the barriers and the pathogenesis of vascular dementia and introduce recent findings including our experimental data using animal models.
We collected and analyzed the questionnaires from the participants in the annual EEG hands-on (5 times) and the regional EEG seminar (6 times). The board-certified neurologists among participants in the regional EEG seminar were always more than those in the annual EEG hands-on. Participants in the regional EEG seminar were more involved in EEGs than those in the annual EEG hands-on. The highly satisfactory lectures in the annual EEG hands-on were “normal EEG” and those in the regional EEG seminar were “EEG of epilepsy”. The highly requested lectures in the annual EEG hands-on were “how to read EEG” and those in the regional EEG seminar were “EEG of epilepsy”. By taking the needs of the participants into account, we only could provide more efficient teaching seminars to improve EEG reading skills of neurologists.
A 49-year-old woman presented with progressive muscle weakness of the limbs and dysphagia. Her past and family medical history were unremarkable and she did not take statins or any other medications. Laboratory tests showed that serum levels of creatine kinase were elevated (13,565 IU/l) and anti-3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) antibodies were detected in the serum. Other autoantibodies to the nuclear (ANA), RNP, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARS), and signal recognition particle (SRP) were negative. Pathological analysis of the left biceps muscle revealed minimal lymphocytic infiltration into the muscle fibers together with many necrotic and regenerated fibers, which corresponded to necrotizing myopathy. Abdominal CT and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy showed an advanced gastric cancer with lymph node metastasis. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with anti-HMGCR antibody-positive paraneoplastic necrotizing myopathy associated with advanced gastric cancer. The patient underwent radical surgery to remove the cancer and was initially treated with oral prednisolone and intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy; however, her symptoms worsened and she became bedridden. After an additional treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), she showed noticeable improvements in muscle strength and dysphagia and became ambulatory. This case and recent case-series studies suggest that anti-HMGCR antibody-positive necrotizing myopathy may be included in paraneoplastic syndrome and that physicians should screen for malignant tumors in patients with anti-HMGCR antibody-positive necrotizing myopathy. Moreover, IVIg can be a useful therapy in patients with anti-HMGCR antibody-positive paraneoplastic necrotizing myopathy who show refractoriness to tumor resection and corticosteroid therapies.
A 78-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of sudden right hemiparesis and dysarthria. His cranial MRI showed an area of hyperintensity in left pons on DWI and MRA revealed dilated, elongated and tortuous intracranial artery. We diagnosed as acute phase ischemic stroke and intracranial arterial dolichoectasia (IADE). Intravenous infusion of rt-PA was performed 157 minutes after the onset of symptoms, and his hemiparesis improved. However, he subsequently suffered from cerebral infarction 4 times in 6 months, and we treated him twice with thrombolytic therapy. Although thrombolytic therapy was effective in the short term and antithrombotic therapy was continued, he had bilateral hemiplegia and severe dysphagia because of repeated cerebral infarctions. Hence basilar artery was dilated with intramural hemorrhage over 6 months, and we discontinued antithrombolytic therapy. It is possible that antithrombolytic therapy affects enlargement of IADE. Antithrombolytic therapy for IADE should be done carefully.
A 79-year-old woman was admitted emergently for disturbance of consciousness. Her consciousness level was Japan coma scale 20, and she presented with hypermyotonia. Brain magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid examination showed normal findings. Her blood tests showed an increased ammonia level of 291 μg/dl with normal liver function. We catheterized the bladder for urinary retention. Eight hours after admission, the blood level of ammonia decreased to 57 μg/dl and the patient’s consciousness level improved. Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum, which is a bacteria producing urease, was detected from a urine culture. It is important to recognize that obstructive urinary tract infection caused by urease-producing bacteria can cause hyperammonemia.