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Commonly employed psychotropic agents are associated with clinically significant metabolic, digestive, and reproductive-related adverse events. Treatment decisions in young populations are usefully informed by the somatic consequences of the medication options.
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All children had normal thyroid function before the initiation of VPA treatment. Serum VPA concentrations remained within the therapeutic range (50-100 mg/L) during the period of study. Thyroxine and free thyroxine levels were significantly decreased, whereas TSH levels were significantly increased at 6, 12, and 24 months of VPA therapy. Triiodothyronine levels were significantly decreased only at 24 months of therapy. Thirteen children (43.3%) at 6 months, 14 children (46.6%) at 12 months, and 15 children (50%) at 24 months of treatment had TSH values greater than 5 mIU/mL. Normal serum TSH levels were restored in all 8 children examined at 3 months after withdrawal of medication.
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To quantify changes in ictal seizure semiology during rapid withdrawal of carbamazepine (CBZ) and valproate (VPA) from a monoregimen in presurgical evaluation.
In this study, a simple, rapid, and sensitive method was developed and validated for the quantification of valproic acid (VPA), an antiepileptic drug, in human plasma, which was based on water-phase derivatization followed by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In the proposed method, VPA in plasma was rapidly derivatized with a mixture of isobutyl chloroformate, ethanol and pyridine under mild conditions (room temperature, aqueous medium), and the VPA ethyl ester formed was headspace-extracted and simultaneously concentrated using the SPME technique. Finally, the analyte extracted on SPME fiber was analyzed by GC/MS. The experimental parameters and method validations were studied. The optimal conditions were obtained: PDMS fiber, stirring rate of 1100 rpm, sample temperature of 80 degrees C, extraction time of 20 min, NaCl concentration of 30%. The proposed method had a limit of quantification (0.3 microg/mL), good recovery (89-97%) and precision (RSD value less than 10%). Because the proposed method combined a rapid water-phase derivatization with a fast, simple and solvent-free sample extraction and concentration technique of SPME, the sample preparation time was less than 25 min. This much shortens the whole analysis time of VPA in plasma. The validated method has been successfully used to analyze VPA in human plasma samples for application in pharmacokinetic studies. All these results show that water-phase derivatization followed by HS-SPME and GC/MS is an alternative and powerful method for fast determination of VPA in biological fluids.
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Inflammation and immune response play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of ischemic stroke giving their contribution to tissue damage and repair. Emerging evidence supports the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms such as methylation, histone modification and miRNAs in the pathogenesis of stroke. Interestingly, epigenetics can influence the molecular events involved in ischemic injury by controlling the switch from pro- to anti-inflammatory response, however, this is still a field to be fully explored. The knowledge of epigenetic processes could to allow for the discovery of more sensitive and specific biomarkers for risk, onset, and progression of disease as well as further novel tools to be used in both primary prevention and therapy of stroke. Indeed, studies performed in vitro and in small animal models seem to suggest a neuroprotective role of HDAC inhibitors (e.g. valproic acid) and antagomir (e.g. anti-miR-181a) in ischemic condition by modulation of both immune and inflammatory pathways. Thus, the clinical implications of altered epigenetic mechanisms for the prevention of stroke are very promising but clinical prospective studies and translational approaches are still warranted.
Postimplantation whole embryo culture (WEC) assay for rats and mice has been well established and introduced to many laboratories. Recently WEC technique for rabbits has been developed; however, information on culture of other species is very limited. Knowing the usefulness of hamsters in classical embryotoxicology, we reasoned that hamster WEC could be an alternative model for the most frequently used rat and mouse WEC. Previously we have optimized culture conditions for postimplantation hamster embryos. The aim of this study was to test the susceptibility of hamster embryos cultured in vitro to embryotoxic compounds and to compare our results with those reported by others on rat or mouse embryo culture. For that purpose we choose three known embryotoxic compounds--valproic acid, cadmium chloride, and diethylstilbestrol--and tested them using a postimplantation hamster whole embryo culture assay. Hamster embryos were cultured from 7.5 days gestation for 24 h in a medium consisting of 35% hamster serum and 65% synthetic culture medium (Iscove's or McCoy 5A). At the end of the culture period, the embryos were examined morphologically, measured with the aid of a computer image analysis system, and total protein content was assessed. All three compounds exhibited dose-related embryotoxic and teratogenic effects in hamster embryos. The malformations observed were similar to those reported on rat and mouse embryos. Comparison of the results with data reported by other authors indicates that hamster embryos cultured in vitro might be more susceptible to embryotoxic stimuli than rat and mouse embryos.
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Women with epilepsy should be informed of the risks posed to their potential offspring prior to pregnancy to allow for informed decisions regarding treatment. Children exposed in utero to antiepileptic drugs should be monitored throughout childhood to allow for early intervention when necessary.
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Routine monitoring of VPA serum levels would be extremely useful in epilepsy patients in the pediatric age group and in those who require associated enzyme-inducing medications.
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The anti-convulsant drug valproate causes hepatic failure in a small percentage of patients. We now report that the valproate metabolite 2,4-dien-valproate binds (IC50 = 42 microM) to the alpha-subunit of the trifunctional protein responsible for the second and third steps in the mitochondrial beta-oxidation of fatty acids. Binding of valproate itself, or of the metabolites 2-envalproate, 4-en-valproate or 3-hydroxy-4-en-valproate, is considerably weaker. We conclude that valproate-induced hepatotoxicity may be due in part to the reversible binding of the valproate metabolite 2,4-dien-valproate or its CoA ester to the alpha-subunit of the trifunctional protein with consequent inhibition of fatty acid oxidation.
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Differentiation induction is a distinct concept in the treatment of malignant diseases, considering that malignant cells share many features with immature progenitor cells that are capable of terminal differentiation. Treatment of tumor cells with short-chain fatty acid treatment of erythroid progenitors in vitro and in vivo induces cellular differentiation resulting in gamma-globin, i.e., fetal hemoglobin synthesis. Valproic acid (VPA) is a branched-chain fatty acid that is able to inhibit growth of human and rodent tumor cells and to induce a mature phenotype. The antitumoral effects observed in preclinical studies were reached at concentrations that are readily achieved in patients treated with VPA for epilepsy. Hypothesizing that anticonvulsive VPA levels may be used for antitumoral differentiation induction therapy of pediatric malignant tumors, the authors studied fetal hemoglobin-inducing capacity of VPA in children treated with VPA for epilepsy. Fetal hemoglobin was significantly increased in 30 children with epilepsy treated with VPA monotherapy for at least 3 months when compared to untreated control patients. Furthermore, fetal hemoglobin levels correlated with VPA serum levels. The study confirms the dose-dependent stimulating effect of VPA on fetal hemoglobin synthesis at anticonvulsive doses. The results suggest that nontoxic VPA levels reached in pediatric epilepsy patients should be capable of inducing cellular differentiation of pediatric malignant tumors for therapeutic purposes. Broad clinical experience with VPA and its low toxicity further encourage the evaluation of VPA in pediatric oncology for differentiation induction therapy.
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Most women with epilepsy need to take antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in pregnancy to prevent the potentially harmful effects of seizures. Retrospective studies have demonstrated an increased chance of having a child with a birth defect (BD) in women with epilepsy taking AEDs. It is uncertain how much of this risk is directly caused by the AEDs and whether certain drugs or combinations are associated with a greater risk.
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We report a 66-year-old man with hepatic encephalopathy due to a non-cirrhotic porto-systemic shunt during the course of treatment for epilepsy with sodium valproate. The patient developed symptomatic epilepsy after an operation for intracranial arterio-venous malformation at the age of 41, and had been treated with sodium valproate and phenytoin since. At the age of 66, he developed convulsions that were thought to be symptomatic epilepsy with hyperammonemia. Despite sodium valproate having been tapered rapidly and then discontinued, hyperammonemia continued. Abdominal contrast enhanced CT demonstrated a large spleno-renal shunt. Although he was treated with lactulose, he developed encephalopathy with hyperammonemia several times. At the age of 67, we occluded the spleno-renal shunt by balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (B-RTO), after which, his clinical symptoms improved, together with normalizing of the ammonia level and EEGs.
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Seizures are a common complication of pediatric brain tumors and their treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, evaluation, and treatment of seizures in children with brain tumors. Seizures in known brain tumor patients may signify tumor progression or recurrence, or treatment-related brain damage, as well as other causes, including low drug levels and metabolic disturbances. Careful selection of antiepileptic medications is needed in this population. There are advantages to nonenzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs including valproic acid, which has potential antitumoral properties as a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Tumor surgery cures many cases of pediatric tumor-associated seizures, and some children are controlled with anti-epileptic medication, however additional epilepsy surgery may be needed for refractory cases.
Previous studies have demonstrated that carnitine levels were lower in patients taking valproate, especially in those who are younger than 24 months of age, those with concomitant neurologic or metabolic disorders, and those on multiple antiepileptic drugs. We performed a cross-sectional surveillance study on pediatric patients taking valproate to evaluate the relationship between carnitine levels and demographic data including age, daily dosage of valproate, number of antiepileptic drugs, body mass index, and feeding problems. Among the 43 patients studied, only two patients were found to have carnitine levels below the normal limit. There were no statistically significant associations between carnitine levels and age, body mass index, additional antiepileptic drugs used, presence of mental retardation, cerebral palsy, or feeding problems, nonambulatory status, or dosage of valproate. We conclude that routine carnitine level checking is not justified in pediatric patients taking valproate.
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Tub-A treatment significantly improves survival, attenuates inflammation, and downregulates TNF-α and IL-6 gene expression in a rodent two-hit model.
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Left-hippocampal volume is increased in older bipolar subjects compared with NC subjects. The differences were not explained by age at onset, current mood state, or cognitive status, but may be associated with exposure to lithium. This finding would support previous observations about the neural-plasticity effect of lithium.
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All of the tested compounds were effective in the models tested. No significant difference in ED50 values was observed but the plasma and brain EC50 values of (2R,3S)-VCD in the 6Hz model at 32 mA stimulation were 2-fold higher than the EC50 values of (2S,3S)-VCD. An excellent pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic correlation was found between the plasma and brain concentrations of the VCD stereoisomers and their anticonvulsant effect in mice. Stereoselectivity was observed in clearance, volume of distribution, and in brain-to-plasma AUC ratio at a dose of 25 mg/kg, but the difference disappeared at higher doses as the clearance of the stereoisomers decreased and their half-life increased. For (2R,3S)-VCD the brain-to-plasma AUC ratio doubled at the tested dose range, while it remained constant for (2S,3S)-VCD.
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Indication for performing the test, assessed against evidence-based criteria; timing of blood sample collection; whether the test result altered patient management; whether the request form allowed laboratory staff to assess the appropriateness of the test; cost of performing inappropriate tests.
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Regeneration in the mammalian CNS is severely limited. Unlike in the chick, current models hold that retinal neurons are never regenerated. Previously we demonstrated that, in the adult mammalian retina, Müller glia dedifferentiate and produce retinal cells, including photoreceptors, after acute neurotoxic injury in vivo. However, the number of newly generated retinal neurons is very limited. Here we demonstrate that Wnt (wingless-type MMTV integration site family)/beta-catenin signaling promotes proliferation of Müller glia-derived retinal progenitors and neural regeneration after damage or during degeneration. Wnt3a treatment increases proliferation of dedifferentiated Müller glia >20-fold in the photoreceptor-damaged retina. Supplementation with retinoic acid or valproic acid induces differentiation of these cells primarily into Crx (cone rod homeobox)-positive and rhodopsin-positive photoreceptors. Notably, injury induces nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin, cyclin D1 upregulation, and Wnt/beta-catenin reporter activity. Activation of Wnt signaling by glycogen synthase kinase-3beta inhibitors promotes retinal regeneration, and, conversely, inhibition of the signaling attenuates regeneration. This Wnt3a-mediated regeneration of retinal cells also occurs in rd mice, a model of retinal degeneration. These results provide evidence that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling contributes to CNS regeneration in the adult mammal.
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To determine population-based pharmacokinetic parameters for intravenous valproic acid, and the factors influencing these parameters, in Korean adults.
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At the beginning of neurogenesis, massive brain cell death occurs and more than 50% of cells are eliminated by apoptosis along with neuronal differentiation. However, few studies were conducted so far regarding the regulation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) death during development. Because of the physiological role of cell death during development, aberration of normal apoptotic cell death is detrimental to normal organogenesis.Apoptosis occurs in not only neuron but also in NPCs and neuroblast. When growth and survival signals such as EGF or LIF are removed, apoptosis is activated as well as the induction of differentiation. To investigate the regulation of cell death during developmental stage, it is essential to investigate the regulation of apoptosis of NPCs.
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Seizure is a common complication after stroke (termed "post-stroke seizure," PSS). Although many studies have assessed outcomes and risk factors of PSS, no reliable predictors are currently available to determine PSS recurrence. We compared baseline clinical characteristics and post-stroke treatment regimens between recurrent and non-recurrent PSS patients to identify factors predictive of recurrence.
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Use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in pregnant women with epilepsy (WWE) is associated with an increased risk of major congenital malformations (MCM). Previous studies have suggested that WWE who had a malformation in their index pregnancy were at an increased risk of recurrence in future pregnancies. We aimed to assess the risk of recurrence of MCM in 1,616 WWE from Kerala Registry of Epilepsy and Pregnancy. The pregnancy outcome of women (n = 246) with two prospective pregnancies in the registry were analyzed. They had partial seizures with or without generalization (57.3%) or generalized seizures (42.7%). Polytherapy was used in 26.4% (index pregnancy) and 23.6% (follow-up pregnancy). The mean dosage of AED for valproate was 498 mg/day and carbamazepine was 555 mg/day. The malformation rate in the index pregnancy was 8.5% (21/246) and in the follow-up pregnancy was 8.9% (22/246) with only one recurrence. There was no increased risk of MCM in follow-up pregnancy for those who had MCM in the index pregnancy (p = 0.70; OR 0.49; 95% CI 0.06-3.80). The use of any specific drug, continuation of the same drug or a change in drug therapy between two pregnancies did not alter the recurrence risk.
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Two hundred sixty neurologists included 2220 patients (1162 males, 1057 females with a mean age of 41 years (from 1 month to 96 years). Forty-one percent of these patients were referred by a general practitioner and 22 percent by emergency departments. Four hundred and thirty-seven patients (19.7 percent) had only experienced a single seizure at treatment initiation. Patients were classified according to focal epilepsy (43.9 percent of patients), generalized epilepsy (46.4 percent of patients), or non-classified epilepsy (9.7 percent of patients). Sixty-six percent of patients had a biological check-up. Ninety-three percent of patients underwent an EEG and 80.7 per cent a CT scan or brain MRI. The high risk of recurrence was the main reason given by neurologists for instituting anti-epileptic treatment. The reason for initiating treatment was syndromic diagnosis in 23.7 percent of patients with multiple seizures. The most frequently prescribed drug was valproic acid (58.2 percent of patients) chosen because of its practical use and broad anti-epileptic spectrum.
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Management of migraine patients with or without aura must include appropriate medication to treat the attack and long-term preventive therapy, especially if the frequency of the attacks is greater than 2-4 per month. In both cases the choice of treatment depends on its efficacy and side effects. With regard to acute drug therapy, group studies do not suggest that ergot derivatives and sumatriptan are superior to simple analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly if a prokinetic agent is added. These new substances are indicated for severe attacks refractory to more conventional therapy. Chronic drug abuse may induce drug-induced or rebound headaches. As regards long-term prophylaxis, group studies suggest that calcium antagonists and 5-HT-influencing drugs are superior concerning attacks frequency to beta-blocking agents, but involve very frequent side effects (weight gain and somnolence). Interesting preliminary results have also been reported with valproate and enalapril, which will confirmation by controlled studies. Finally, the choice of drug must take into account the patient's comorbidities (cardiovascular diseases, asthma, diabetes etc).