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Charles S. Cobbs and Charles B. Wilson

✓ The authors present a rare entity, an intrasellar cavernous hemangioma that on neuroimages mimicked a nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenoma in a patient with a known orbital hemangioma. Such lesions can grow extraaxially within the dural sinuses, particularly the cavernous sinus, and present like tumors. A better understanding of the neuroimaging, clinical, and anatomical features of these lesions may prevent difficulties in management.

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Matthew T. Harting, James E. Baumgartner, Laura L. Worth, Linda Ewing-Cobbs, Adrian P. Gee, Mary-Clare Day and Charles S. Cox Jr.

Preliminary discoveries of the efficacy of cell therapy are currently being translated to clinical trials. Whereas a significant amount of work has been focused on cell therapy applications for a wide array of diseases, including cardiac disease, bone disease, hepatic disease, and cancer, there continues to be extraordinary anticipation that stem cells will advance the current therapeutic regimen for acute neurological disease. Traumatic brain injury is a devastating event for which current therapies are limited. In this report the authors discuss the current status of using adult stem cells to treat traumatic brain injury, including the basic cell types and potential mechanisms of action, preclinical data, and the initiation of clinical trials.

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Linda Ewing-Cobbs, Mary R. Prasad, Larry Kramer, Charles S. Cox Jr., James Baumgartner, Stephen Fletcher, Donna Mendez, Marcia Barnes, Xiaoling Zhang and Paul Swank

Object

Although long-term neurological outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained early in life are generally unfavorable, the effect of TBI on the development of academic competencies is unknown. The present study characterizes intelligence quotient (IQ) and academic outcomes an average of 5.7 years after injury in children who sustained moderate to severe TBI prior to 6 years of age.

Methods

Twenty-three children who suffered inflicted or noninflicted TBI between the ages of 4 and 71 months were enrolled in a prospective, longitudinal cohort study. Their mean age at injury was 21 months; their mean age at assessment was 89 months. The authors used general linear modeling approaches to compare IQ and standardized academic achievement test scores from the TBI group and a community comparison group (21 children).

Children who sustained early TBI scored significantly lower than children in the comparison group on intelligence tests and in the reading, mathematical, and language domains of achievement tests. Forty-eight percent of the TBI group had IQs below the 10th percentile. During the approximately 5-year follow-up period, longitudinal IQ testing revealed continuing deficits and no recovery of function. Both IQ and academic achievement test scores were significantly related to the number of intracranial lesions and the lowest postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale score but not to age at the time of injury. Nearly 50 % of the TBI group failed a school grade and/or required placement in self-contained special education classrooms; the odds of unfavorable academic performance were 18 times higher for the TBI group than the comparison group.

Conclusions

Traumatic brain injury sustained early in life has significant and persistent consequences for the development of intellectual and academic functions and deleterious effects on academic performance.

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Brian K. Kwon, Charles G. Fisher, Michael C. Boyd, John Cobb, Hilary Jebson, Vanessa Noonan, Peter Wing and Marcel F. Dvorak

Object

Unilateral facet injuries can be treated with either anterior or posterior fixation techniques with reportedly good outcomes. The two approaches have not been directly compared, however, and consensus is lacking as to which is the optimal method. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether acute postoperative morbidity differed between anteriorly and posteriorly treated patients with unilateral facet injuries.

Methods

Forty-two patients were prospectively randomized to undergo either anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or posterior fixation. The primary outcome measure was the postoperative time required to achieve a predefined set of discharge criteria. Secondary outcome measures included postoperative pain, wound infections, radiographically demonstrated fusion and alignment, and patient-reported outcome measures.

Results

The median time to achieve the discharge criteria was 2.75 and 3.5 days for anterior and posterior groups, respectively, a difference that did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.096). Compared with those treated using posterior fixation, anteriorly treated patients exhibited somewhat less postoperative pain, a lower rate of wound infection, a higher rate of radiographically demonstrated union, and better radiographically proven alignment. Nonetheless, the anterior approach was accompanied by a risk of swallowing difficulty in the early postoperative period. Patient-reported outcome measures did not reveal a difference between anterior and posterior fixation procedures.

Conclusions

This prospective randomized controlled trial provided level 1 evidence that both the anterior and posterior fixation approaches appear to be valid treatment options. Although statistical significance was not reached in the primary outcome measure, some secondary outcome measures favored anterior fixation and others favored posterior treatment for unilateral facet injuries.