Tag Archives: disorders

Cortical Surface Changes Tied to Movement Disorders in Schizophrenia

Patients with schizophrenia and parkinsonism show distinctive patterns of cortical surface markers compared with their counterparts without parkinsonism and with healthy controls, results of a multimodal magnetic resonance imaging study suggest.

Dr Robert Christian Wolf

Sensorimotor abnormalities are common in schizophrenia patients, however, “the neurobiological mechanisms underlying parkinsonism in [schizophrenia], which in treated samples represents the unity of interplay between spontaneous and antipsychotic drug-exacerbated movement disorder, are poorly understood,” wrote Robert Christian Wolf, MD, of Heidelberg (Germany) University, and colleagues.

In a study published in Schizophrenia Research (2021 May;231:54-60), the investigators examined brain imaging findings from 20 healthy controls, 38 schizophrenia patients with parkinsonism (SZ-P), and 35 schizophrenia patients without parkinsonism (SZ-nonP). Wolf and colleagues examined three cortical surface markers: cortical thickness, complexity of cortical folding, and sulcus depth.

Compared with SZ-nonP patients, the SZ-P patients showed significantly increased complexity of cortical folding in the left supplementary motor cortex (SMC) and significantly decreased left postcentral sulcus (PCS) depth. In addition, left SMC activity was higher in both SZ-P and SZ-nonP patient groups, compared with controls.

In a regression analysis, the researchers examined relationships between parkinsonism severity and brain structure. They found that parkinsonism severity was negatively associated with left middle frontal complexity of cortical folding and left anterior cingulate cortex cortical thickness.

“Overall, the data support the notion that cortical features of distinct neurodevelopmental origin, particularly cortical folding indices such as [complexity of cortical folding] and sulcus depth, contribute to the pathogenesis of parkinsonism in SZ,” the researchers wrote.

The study findings were limited by several factors, including the cross-sectional design, the potential limitations of the Simpson-Angus Scale in characterizing parkinsonism, the inability to record lifetime antibiotics exposure in the patient population, and the inability to identify changes in brain stem nuclei, the researchers noted. However, the results were strengthened by the well-matched study groups and use of multimodal MRI, they said.

Consequently, “these data provide novel insights into different trajectories of cortical development in SZ patients evidencing parkinsonism,” and suggest a link between abnormal neurodevelopmental processes and an increased risk for movement disorders in schizophrenia, they concluded.

The study was funded by the German Research Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Wolf and colleagues disclosed no conflicts.

This story originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Startup making digital therapeutic for pelvic floor disorders raises $17M

Author: Elise Reuter
This post originally appeared on MedCity News

Women’s health startup Renovia raised $ 17 million to market its lead product, a digital therapeutic for pelvic floor disorders. Photo credit: Renovia

Boston-based startup Renovia raised $ 17 million for its digital therapeutic, designed to help people with exercises for pelvic floor disorders. The company plans to use the funds to market its lead product, which received FDA clearance in late 2019.

Nearly half of women will experience urinary incontinence in their lifetimes, according to a survey published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Many women experience it after childbirth, or as they as they age.

“What generally happens is you’re handed a tear-off sheet with kegel instructions or pelvic floor muscle therapy instructions,” Renovia CEO Eileen Maus said in a Zoom interview.

But some people struggle to do them correctly, or simply don’t do them at all.

Renovia developed a device to help women track if they’re doing exercises correctly. The company was started in 2016 by former Aegerion Pharmaceuticals CEO Marc Beer and Ramon Iglecias, a Florida-based OBGYN who came up with its lead product, called Leva.

Maus became CEO of the company in January. She led it through a 300-person randomized controlled trial, which the company recently completed with the goal of providing more evidence to insurance companies.

So far, the only data that Renovia has shared publicly are the results of a previous, six-week open-label trial, which found that 20 of 23 women reported no incontinence after six weeks — a much smaller study.

Currently, the device isn’t yet covered by insurance. Like other digital therapeutics startups, Renovia has taken the route of making it available only by prescription.

“A woman’s relationship with her OBGYN is long lasting. That’s her trusted medical professional and should be involved in her care,” Maus said. “One of the things that’s tough about doing direct-to-consumer is there’s a large awareness phase that lasts for about four to five years before people decide to take action. And when they take action, that’s seeing their doctor.”

The company started a national launch of its product earlier this month. It also plans to use the funds to study its use for other pelvic floor disorders. Investors in its most recent funding round included Parian Global Management, Perceptive Life Sciences, Longwood Fund, Ascension Ventures and OSF Ventures.

Eye twitching: Optician warns spasms could be a sign of brain and nervous system disorders

“Eye allergies release histamine into the eyes, which leads to swelling, irritation, itchiness and sometimes twitching,” said Copeland.

However, hay fever may not be the only culprit behind sensitive eyes – it could be down to a new cleaning product in your regime.

“Simply removing this cleaning product from your life can help your eye twitching to stop,” suggested Copeland.

Eye strain and dry eyes

Most people may find that they are spending a lot more time using screens since the coronavirus pandemic first entered our lives a year ago.