The electrical discharge of neurons associated with seizure activity stimulates a marked rise in cerebral metabolic activity. Estimates from animal experiments indicate that energy utilization during seizures increases by more than 200", while tissue adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels remain at more than 95" of control, even during prolonged status epilepticus. The brain generally withstands the metabolic challenge of seizures quite well because enhanced cerebral blood flow delivers additional oxygen and glucose. Mild to moderate degrees of hypoxemia that commonly accompany seizures are usually harmless. However, severe seizures and status epilepticus can sometimes produce an imbalance between metabolic demands and cerebral perfusion, especially if severe hypotension or hypoglycemia is present. A marked increase in glutamate release, which occurs during a prolonged seizure, is likely to result in the activation of all types of glutamate receptors. Although kainic acid produces seizures in the immature brain, it produces little cytotoxicity.
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Recent advancements in molecular genetics have expanded our understanding of the etiology of many neurological diseases and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Having a comprehensive understanding of genetics is essential in treating patients with metabolic epilepsies. Genetic counseling has been defined as a process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. Some of the components of a genetic counseling interaction include interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence; education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources, and research; and counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition. The genetic counselor may also educate patients and their families about the underlying genetics of their epilepsy and the relevance of a genetic cause of epilepsy for family members, including recurrence risk, reproductive options and the possible teratogenic effect of antiepileptic drugs.Source:
This chapter presents a brief review of the enzymes, transporters, and cofactor producers of the urea cycle. Seizures have long been associated with urea cycle disorders (UCDs), thought to be caused by high levels of ammonia. Furthermore, the brain damage obtained during metabolic crisis has been thought to damage critical structures, leading to epilepsy after the conclusion of the crisis. The first and most critical step of successful treatment of UCDs is recognition. Neurologic monitoring is an essential part of the emergency management of UCDs. The neurological abnormalities observed in patients with urea cycle defects are vast. Controlling ammonia levels by dialysis and complementary medication are needed. EEG monitoring should be initiated early, as this may be very useful for clinical management and indication of untreated metabolic crises. Furthermore, aggressive treatment of clinical and subclinical seizure activity may be helpful in optimizing outcomes for these patients.Source:
Clinical neurophysiology (CNP) is a time-honored medical specialty that continues to make great strides, bolstered by rapid advances in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and computer technology. It encompasses a wide range of methods and techniques for recording, presenting, and analyzing neurophysiologic signals in order to diagnose sensory, motor, autonomic, and central nervous system disorders. Testing performed in CNP or procedures used in current neurological practice include a variety of modality-specific and mixed-modality tests. Modality-specific CNP tests are performed to assess specific functional modalities using biomedical instruments that measure changes in neurophysiologic signals that occur spontaneously or with activation. Mixed-modality CNP tests utilize two or more test modalities to assess complex states (e.g., sleep, coma), to track multiple physiologic parameters, or to obtain more accurate results. CNP tests are classified based on functional anatomy or neural pathway tested. This chapter discusses artifact recognition and presents sources of artifacts in clinical neurophysiologic testing.
In the postpartum period, secondary postpartum hemorrhage (SPPH) and endometritis are two conditions that frequently present to an obstetric triage unit. These complications may coexist and can occur from 24 hours postpartum to 6 weeks postdelivery. SPPH is typically not as severe as a primary bleeding episode. Postpartum women ultimately diagnosed with endometritis are generally stable, but less commonly can present in septic shock. This chapter discusses presenting symptomatology, history and data collection, physical examination, laboratory and imaging studies, differential diagnosis, and clinical management and follow-up of secondary postpartum hemorrhage and postpartum endometritis. Prompt treatment of both SPPH and postpartum endometritis can reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. SPPH is managed with the same guiding principles as primary postpartum hemorrhage. Initial treatment for postpartum endometritis is intravenous clindamycin and gentamicin.
Pregnant women presenting with abdominal pain to an emergency department or obstetric triage setting frequently have a diagnostic ultrasound (US) to assess fetus, placenta, and adnexae. In the first trimester, symptomatic adnexal masses typically present with unilateral or bilateral pelvic cramping or pressure. Obtaining a history in a pregnant woman with abdominal pain is similar to doing so for the nonpregnant patient. In addition to routine cardiopulmonary examination, abdominal examination, and assessment for costovertebral angle tenderness, a sterile speculum and vaginal examination are performed to evaluate for adnexal or uterine tenderness, cervical dilation, and potential rupture of membranes. If a mass is suspected, US is the preferred imaging modality. Magnetic resonance imaging can be employed if additional imaging is needed. Differential diagnosis of abdominal pain in pregnant women must include other obstetric and nonobstetric causes of pain. This chapter describes clinical management and follow-up of pregnant women with adnexal masses.
Maternal sepsis is a common pregnancy-related condition; in the United States, it is a leading cause of maternal mortality, accounting for up to 28” of maternal deaths and up to 15” of maternal admissions to the intensive care unit. One contributing and modifiable factor to these deaths is failure to recognize sepsis, leading to delays in treatment. Therefore, rapid and accurate diagnosis and initial management of sepsis in pregnancy in the emergency department (ED) is paramount. Pregnancy poses a unique challenge given the baseline physiologic changes and the need to care for the mother while simultaneously caring for the fetus. Therefore, without clear pregnancy-specific data, recommendations are to follow the current guidelines for nonpregnant adults, yet be cognizant of the ways in which pregnancy may change maternal physiology and affect fetal well-being. Prompt identification and treatment of maternal sepsis will undoubtedly lead to the best possible maternal and neonatal outcomes.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault are common violent crimes perpetrated on women. Obstetric (OB) complications associated with trauma include miscarriage, preterm labor, and placental abruption. Ongoing mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, are more prevalent in pregnant women subjected to any form of IPV, whether or not direct physical violence is involved. One study showed that pregnant women subjected to verbal threats were twice as likely to deliver low-birth-weight infants. All women who present to an OB triage unit or an emergency department (not just those who present with an injury or complication) must be screened for IPV. An organized plan for providing the victim with resources must be readily available when a screen is positive. This chapter discusses presenting symptomatology, history and data collection, physical examination, laboratory and imaging studies, differential diagnosis, clinical management and follow-up care of IPV and sexual assault.
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This chapter provides a brief introduction to approaches to coping theory-from its early roots in psychodynamic defense mechanisms, through cognitive and personality approaches to coping styles, to more current work on coping and adaptive processes. The coping process approach recognizes that coping strategies are influenced not only by person characteristics such as personality, values, and developmental history but also by environmental demands and resources. The chapter develops a definition of ‘resilience’ as the ability to recognize, utilize, and develop or modify resources at the individual, community, and sociocultural levels in the service of three goal-related processes: maintenance of optimal functioning, given current limitations; development of a comfortable life structure; and development of a sense of purpose in life. A common assumption of life-span developmental theories is that the increasing physical and sometimes cognitive limitations with age necessitate changes in adaptive processes.Source: