Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Magnesium as migraine prevention

Teigen L, Boes CJ. An evidence-based review of oral magnesium supplementation
in the preventive treatment of migraine. Cephalalgia. 2014 Dec 22. pii:
0333102414564891. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 25533715.
Migraine is an incompletely understood, debilitating disorder that lacks a universally effective treatment. Magnesium participates in a variety of biochemical processes related to migraine pathophysiology, and a deficiency could contribute to migraine development.
A review of the literature from 1990 to the present on magnesium and migraine was conducted.
The authors identified 16 studies aimed at magnesium status assessment in migraine, and four intervention trials assessing the efficacy of oral magnesium supplementation, independent of other therapies, in the prevention of migraine.
The strength of evidence supporting oral magnesium supplementation is limited at this time. With such limited evidence, a more advantageous alternative to magnesium supplementation, in patients willing to make lifestyle changes, may be to focus on increasing dietary magnesium intake.

Cannabis and stroke

Hackam DG. Cannabis and Stroke: Systematic Appraisal of Case Reports. Stroke.  2015 Feb 19. pii: STROKEAHA.115.008680. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:25700287.
An increasing number of case reports link cannabis consumption to cerebrovascular events. Yet these case reports have not been scrutinized using criteria for causal inference.
All case reports on cannabis and cerebrovascular events were retrieved. Four causality criteria were addressed: temporality, adequacy of stroke work-up, effects of rechallenge, and concomitant risk factors that could account for the cerebrovascular event.
There were 34 case reports on 64 patients. Most cases (81%) exhibited a temporal relationship between cannabis exposure and the index event. In 70%, the evaluation was sufficiently comprehensive to exclude other sources for stroke. About a quarter (22%) of patients had another stroke after subsequent re-exposure to cannabis. Finally, half of patients (50%) had concomitant stroke risk factors, most commonly tobacco (34%) and alcohol (11%) consumption.
Many case reports support a causal link between cannabis and cerebrovascular events. This accords well with epidemiological and mechanistic research on the cerebrovascular effects of cannabis.

mTOR inhibition in epilepsy

Ostendorf AP, Wong M. mTOR Inhibition in Epilepsy: Rationale and Clinical
Perspectives. CNS Drugs. 2015 Jan 30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:
Despite a large number of available medical options, many individuals with epilepsy are refractory to existing therapies that mainly target neurotransmitter or ion channel activity. A growing body of preclinical data has uncovered a molecular pathway that appears crucial in many genetic and acquired epilepsy syndromes. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway regulates a number of cellular processes required in the growth, metabolism, structure, and cell-cell interactions of neurons and glia. Rapamycin and similar compounds inhibit mTOR complex 1 and decrease seizures, delay seizure development, or prevent epileptogenesis in many animal models of mTOR hyperactivation. However, the exact mechanisms by which mTOR inhibition drives decreased seizure activity have not been completely determined. Nonetheless, these preclinical data have led to limited use in humans with epilepsy due to tuberous sclerosis complex and polyhydramnios, megalencephaly, and symptomatic epilepsy with promising results. Currently, larger controlled studies are underway using mTOR inhibitors in individuals with tuberous sclerosis complex and intractable epilepsy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Babies with 3 genetic parents

Nuclear DNA from mother and denucleated egg from donor (i.e. mitochondrial DNA from donor).

Ashya King redux

Near brain death

Joey Cronin's story