The Japanese Society of Neurology discusses research, education, and medical care in the field of neurology and makes recommendations to the national government. Dr. Mizusawa, the former representative director of the Japanese Society of Neurology, selected committee members and made “Recommendations for Promotion of Research for Overcoming Neurological Diseases” in 2013. After that, the Future Vision Committee was established in 2014, and these recommendations have been revised once every few years by the committee. This time, the Future Vision Committee made the latest recommendations from 2020 to 2021. In this document, the general part is 1) What is neurological disease? 2) Current status of neurological disease overcoming research, 3) Significance and necessity of neurological disease overcoming research, 4) Research promotion system for overcoming neurological disease, 5) the roadmap for overcoming neuromuscular diseases, 6) a summary version of these recommendations are explained using figures that are easy for the general public to understand.
A quinquagenarian woman visited our hospital due to experiencing headache around the right upper eyelid for the previous 2 months. T2-weighted MRI of the head showed multiple high-signal-intensity lesions in the corpus callosum and bilateral corona radiata. She was thought to have an autoimmune disease and was treated with steroid pulse therapy, but the light reflex of the right eye diminished and the patient developed inferior horizontal hemianopsia. T2-weighted orbital MRI showed an enlarged right optic nerve, a high-intensity signal in the superior half of the optic nerve, and an enhancing effect. She also tested positive for anti–aquaporin 4 antibodies, so she was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). This case shows that headache can be an initial symptom of NMOSD and that clinicians should consider NMOSD when attempting to diagnose patients presenting with headaches.
A 70-year-old woman presented with a 6-year history of cognitive dysfunction, neurogenic bladder, constipation and recurrent vomiting, and gradual worsening of symptoms. At the first admission to our department, she was also found to have hepatic encephalopathy due to intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. Head MRI revealed abnormal signal intensity at the corticomedullary junction, the splenium of the corpus callosum, and bilateral middle cerebellar peduncles on DWI. She was diagnosed with intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) based on skin biopsy and genetic testing of NOTCH2NLC. In a retrospective review of serial head MRI findings for ten years, abnormal signal intensity at the corticomedullary junction and the splenium of the corpus callosum on MRI existed prior to the onset of cognitive dysfunction, and expanded gradually. For early diagnosis of NIID, it is important to focus not only on the characteristic high signal intensity at the corticomedullary junction, but also on the signal at the splenium of the corpus callosum from the early stage.
We report here a rare case of adult-onset multiloculated hydrocephalus (MLH) after Cryptococcal meningitis. A 63-year-old man had Cryptococcal ventriculitis in 2011, and he recovered with treatment of antimycotic drugs. However, he was admitted again because of disorientation and amnesia, and brain MRI showed dilation of the inferior horn of the left lateral ventricle. He underwent a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) for noncommunicating hydrocephalus in 2019, and the disorientation and amnesia improved. One year after the VPS, he was admitted because of urinary dysfunction and gait disturbance. Brain MRI showed dilation of the bilateral anterior horns of the lateral ventricles. He underwent an additional VPS into the space in 2020, and urinary dysfunction and gait disturbance improved. This case was supposed that the symptom in agreement with the dilated ventricle by MLH was shown.
We present the case of a 67-year-old woman with meningeal carcinomatosis who was treated with chemotherapy for refractory multiple myeloma, and was in remission. She was admitted to our hospital because of tonic seizures and disturbance of consciousness. Monoclonal CD 138-positive plasma cells were detected in her cerebrospinal fluid. Cranial MRI showed gadolinium enhancement of diffuse meninges and cranial nerves. We diagnosed the patient with systemic epilepsy due to meningeal carcinomatosis and administered antiepileptic drugs and intrathecal chemotherapy; however, she showed little improvement, and she passed away on hospital day 74 because of disease progression. Multiple myeloma is known to be associated with neurological symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy, myelopathy, and radiculopathy; however, central nervous system involvement in multiple myeloma is uncommon. We should consider central nervous system involvement in multiple myeloma, such as meningeal carcinomatosis, given the importance of early detection and therapeutic intervention.
A 68-year-old man with a 2-month history of progressive weakness and spontaneous pain in proximal limb muscles presented to our hospital with a dropped head. He started experiencing progressive dysphagia several days before admission. On admission, he had muscle weakness of the limbs and neck extensors with edema and induration in distal extremities. Laboratory tests showed elevation of muscle enzymes. FDG-PET/CT demonstrated multiple hypermetabolic lymph nodes, but the primary site was not identified; thus, metastatic carcinoma of unknown primary origin was considered. The patient was diagnosed with anti-nuclear matrix protein 2 antibody-positive paraneoplastic myopathy based on serum tests. Histological findings of the left biceps brachii muscle biopsy revealed severe variation in fiber size and perifascicular myofiber atrophy. Myofibers exhibited myxovirus resistance protein A expression predominantly in the perifascicular region. Following intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy and intravenous immunoglobulin, the patient’s muscle strength improved with normalization of muscle enzyme levels. The dropped head was considered to have resulted from the preferential involvement of neck extensors based on the observed FDG-PET/CT uptake in neck extensors.
We report a 66-year-old man with primary central nervous system post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PCNS-PTLD). He had received a living-donor kidney transplantation at the age of 64 years. Although he had a good postoperative course by continuing to take oral immunosuppressive agents, he was admitted to our hospital for subacute cognitive impairment and urinary retention two years after the transplantation. Brain MRI revealed high-intensity lesions on FLAIR and T2-weighted images in the left parietal operculum, deep white matter around the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle, and the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. A part of these lesions showed ring enhancement. The cerebrospinal fluid examination revealed lymphocytic pleocytosis, elevation of protein level, and mild hypoglycorrhachia. Blood tests showed no abnormalities except for positive serum VCA-IgG antibody of Epstein–Barr virus. A brain biopsy was performed and diagnosis of PCNS-PTLD was made. There was no evidence of systemic PTLD. We reduced the dose of immunosuppressive agents and started the initial treatment with methylprednisolone pulse therapy. The patient showed a partial response to the treatment and transferred to another hospital for subsequent chemotherapy. PTLD is an important post-transplant complication that can affect the patient’s prognosis. The incidence of PTLD is increasing with the growing numbers of transplantations and older age of donors and recipients. Although CNS involvement is known to be rare, PCNS-PTLD is an important differential diagnosis when symptoms of CNS origin develop in post-transplant patients.
A 53-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital because she developed headache and malaise 3 months prior to her arrival, followed by gait disturbance, abnormal behavior, and hallucinations. On admission, she was stupor and showed left hemispatial neglect, and brain MRI showed extensive FLAIR high-signal lesions with contrast enhancement in the bilateral periventricular white matter, and CSF examination showed pleocytosis and elevated protein. A stereotactic brain biopsy was performed from the right temporal lobe lesion, and pathological findings demonstrated a perivascular inflammatory cell infiltrate. After the administration of intravenous methylprednisolone followed by oral prednisolone, she recovered almost completely within three months and the abnormal MRI findings disappeared. Anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibody in the cerebrospinal fluid turned out to be positive, then the diagnosis of autoimmune GFAP astrocytopathy was made. Reports of this disease are still rare, and we report this case because of its slowly progressive course and pathological evaluation by brain biopsy.
A 79-year-old woman presented 3 years’ history of hand shaking while drinking a cup of tea. The tremor was seen bilaterally, more predominantly on the left, and it also appeared when reading a book or writing. It was also induced by flexing the elbow to about 90 degrees or more without any specific task. Although there was no family history, the tremor in the present case was clinically diagnosed as essential tremor, because there were no other movement abnormalities, and other causes of tremor were excluded by laboratory tests. The tremor was dependent on the position of the involved extremity regardless of the kind of tasks. Position-specific tremor is discussed in relation to postural tremor.