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Douglas H. Smith, Xiao-han Chen, Akira Iwata, and David I. Graham

Object. Although plaques composed of amyloid β (Aβ) have been found shortly after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in humans, the source for this Aβ has not been identified. In the present study, the authors explored the potential relationship between Aβ accumulation in damaged axons and associated Aβ plaque formation.

Methods. The authors performed an immunohistochemical analysis of paraffin-embedded sections of brain from 12 patients who died after TBI and from two control patients by using antibodies selective for Aβ peptides, amyloid precursor protein (APP), and neurofilament (NF) proteins. In nine brain-injured patients, extensive colocalizations of Aβ, APP, and NF protein were found in swollen axons. Many of these immunoreactive axonal profiles were present close to Aβ plaques or were surrounded by Aβ staining, which spread out into the tissue. Immunoreactive profiles were not found in the brains of the control patients.

Conclusions. The results of this study indicate that damaged axons can serve as a large reservoir of Aβ, which may contribute to Aβ plaque formation after TBI in humans.

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Ayato Hayashi, Masanobu Nishida, Hisakazu Seno, Masahiro Inoue, Hiroshi Iwata, Tomohiro Shirasawa, Hajime Arai, Ryoji Kayamori, Yuzo Komuro, and Akira Yanai


The authors have developed a technique for the treatment of facial paralysis that utilizes anastomosis of the split hypoglossal and facial nerve. Here, they document improvements in the procedure and experimental evidence supporting the approach.


They analyzed outcomes in 36 patients who underwent the procedure, all of whom had suffered from facial paralysis following the removal of large vestibular schwannomas. The average period of paralysis was 6.2 months. The authors used 5 different variations of a procedure for selecting the split nerve, including evaluation of the split nerve using recordings of evoked potentials in the tongue.


Successful facial reanimation was achieved in 16 of 17 patients using the cephalad side of the split hypoglossal nerve and in 15 of 15 patients using the caudal side. The single unsuccessful case using the cephalad side of the split nerve resulted from severe infection of the cheek. Procedures using the ansa cervicalis branch yielded poor success rates (2 of 4 cases).

Some tongue atrophy was observed in all variants of the procedure, with 17 cases of minimal atrophy and 14 cases of moderate atrophy. No procedure led to severe atrophy causing functional deficits of the tongue.


The split hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis procedure consistently leads to good facial reanimation, and the use of either half of the split hypoglossal nerve results in facial reanimation and moderate tongue atrophy.

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Akira Iwata, Hideki Sudo, Kuniyoshi Abumi, Manabu Ito, Katsuhisa Yamada, and Norimasa Iwasaki


Controversy exists regarding the effects of lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) tilt and rotation on uninstrumented lumbar segments in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) surgery. Because the intraoperative LIV tilt from the inferior endplate of the LIV to the superior sacral endplate is not stable after surgery, the authors measured the LIV angle of the instrumented thoracic spine as the LIV angle of the construct. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the LIV angle of the construct and the effects of LIV rotation on the postoperative uninstrumented lumbar curve and L4 tilt in patients with thoracic AIS.


A retrospective correlation and multivariate analysis of a prospectively collected, consecutive, nonrandomized series of patients at a single institution was undertaken. Eighty consecutive patients with Lenke type 1 or type 2 AIS treated with posterior correction and fusion were included. Preoperative and 2-year postoperative radiographic measurements were the outcome measures for this study. Outcome variables were postoperative uninstrumented lumbar segments (LIV tilt, LIV translation, uninstrumented lumbar curve, thoracolumbar/lumbar [TL/L] apical vertebral translation [AVT], and L4 tilt). The LIV angle of the construct was measured from the orthogonal line drawn from the upper instrumented vertebra to the LIV. Multiple stepwise linear regression analysis was conducted between outcome variables and patient demographics/radiographic measurements. There were no study-specific biases related to conflicts of interest.


Predictor variables for postoperative uninstrumented lumbar curve were the postoperative LIV angle of the construct, number of uninstrumented lumbar segments, and flexibility of TL/L curve. Specifically, a lower postoperative uninstrumented lumbar curve was predicted by a lower absolute value of the postoperative LIV angle of the construct (p < 0.0001). Predictor variables for postoperative L4 tilt were postoperative LIV rotation, preoperative L4 tilt, and preoperative uninstrumented lumbar curve. Specifically, a lower postoperative L4 tilt was predicted by a lower absolute value of postoperative LIV rotation (p < 0.0001).


The LIV angle of the construct significantly affected the LIV tilt, uninstrumented lumbar curve, and TL/L AVT. LIV rotation significantly affected the LIV translation and L4 tilt.

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Yuichiro Hisada, Tsutomu Endo, Yoshinao Koike, Masahiro Kanayama, Ryota Suzuki, Ryo Fujita, Katsuhisa Yamada, Akira Iwata, Hiroyuki Hasebe, Hideki Sudo, Norimasa Iwasaki, and Masahiko Takahata


Data regarding risk factors for the progression of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) in the thoracic spine are scarce. Therefore, in this study, the authors aimed to elucidate the difference in the radiographic progression pattern of OPLL and its risk factors between cervical and thoracic OPLL using longitudinally acquired whole-spine CT scans.


Overall, 123 patients with symptomatic OPLL who underwent repeated whole-spine CT examinations, with an average interval of 49 months (at least 3 years) between scans, were retrospectively reviewed. Progression of OPLL was assessed to compare the distribution of OPLL over the entire spine on the initial and final CT scans. Patients were divided into a cervical OPLL (C-OPLL) group and a thoracic OPLL (T-OPLL) group according to the location of the main lesion. The progression pattern of OPLL and its risk factors were compared between the two groups using the Student t-test or Mann-Whitney U-test.


In the C-OPLL group, 15 (22.1%) of 68 patients had OPLL progression, of whom 12 patients (80.0%) had progression only in the cervical spine and 3 patients (20.0%) had progression in multiple regions (cervical and thoracic/lumbar). In the T-OPLL group, 16 (29.1%) of 55 patients had OPLL progression, of which 3 patients (18.8%) had progression only in the thoracic spine and 8 patients (50.0%) had progression in multiple regions. Young age was a common risk factor for OPLL progression regardless of the location of OPLL, and this trend was more pronounced in the T-OPLL group than in the C-OPLL group. High BMI, male sex, and multilevel, severe T-OPLL were identified as independent risk factors for progression of T-OPLL (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.03–1.37; OR 10.5, 95% CI 1.39–81.94; and OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.16–1.45, respectively).


Patients with T-OPLL are predisposed to diffuse progression of OPLL over the entire spine, whereas patients with C-OPLL are likely to have progression in only the cervical spine. Young age and high BMI are significant risk factors for OPLL progression, especially in patients with T-OPLL. Our study highlights the need for continued follow-up in patients with T-OPLL, especially in young patients and those with obesity, for early detection of spinal cord and cauda equina symptoms due to the progression of OPLL throughout the spine.