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Lester Lee, Justin Ker, Hui Yu Ng, Thangaraj Munusamy, Nicolas Kon Kam King, Dinesh Kumar and Wai Hoe Ng

OBJECT

Chronic subdural hemorrhage (SDH) or hematoma is a condition that affects elderly individuals. With advances in medical care, the number of nonagenarians and centenarians will increase. However, surgical treatments in this age group are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Because no data are available on the rates of survival among elderly patients with chronic SDHs who undergo surgical drainage or receive only conservative care, the goal of this study was to determine survival rates in patients 90 years of age or older with symptomatic chronic SDHs.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of patient data that were collected at 3 hospitals over a 13-year period (from January 2001 to June 2013). The data from patients 90 years or older with symptomatic chronic SDHs and who were offered surgical treatment were included in the analysis. Patients who underwent surgical treatment were included in the surgical group and patients who declined an operation were included in the conservative care group. The patients’ Charlson Comorbidity Index score, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, dates of death, presenting symptoms, Glasgow Coma Scale score, length of stay in the hospital, discharge location, side of the SDH, and neurological improvements at 30-day and 6-month follow-ups were recorded. Data were statistically analyzed with Fisher exact test, Kaplan-Meier curves, and logistic regression.

RESULTS

In total, 101 patients met the inclusion criteria of this study; 70 of these patients underwent surgical drainage, and 31 received conservative care. Patients in the surgical group had statistically significantly (p < 0.001) higher survival at both the 30-day and 6-month follow-ups, with 92.9% and 81.4% of the patients in this group surviving for at least 30 days and 6 months, respectively, versus 58.1% and 41.9%, respectively, in the conservative care group. Moreover, the mean overall length of survival of 34.4 ± 28.7 months was longer in the surgical group than it was in the conservative care group (11.3 ± 16.6 months). Overall, 95.7% of patients in the surgical group exhibited an improvement in neurological status after the SDH drainage, whereas none of the patients in the conservative care group showed any neurological improvement during their hospital stay. The surgical complication rate was 11.4%, and the overall rate of chronic SDH recurrence after surgery was 12.9%.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical drainage of chronic SDHs in nonagenarians and centenarians is associated with lower incidence of inpatient death and higher 30-day and 6-month survival rates.

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Rosa Q. So, Vibhor Krishna, Nicolas Kon Kam King, Huijuan Yang, Zhuo Zhang, Francesco Sammartino, Andres M. Lozano, Richard A. Wennberg and Cuntai Guan

OBJECTIVE

The authors explored the feasibility of seizure detection and prediction using signals recorded from the anterior thalamic nucleus, a major target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of epilepsy.

METHODS

Using data from 5 patients (13 seizures in total), the authors performed a feasibility study and analyzed the performance of a seizure prediction and detection algorithm applied to simultaneously acquired scalp and thalamic electroencephalography (EEG). The thalamic signal was obtained from DBS electrodes. The applied algorithm used the similarity index as a nonlinear measure for seizure identification, with patient-specific channel and threshold selection. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated using data from all patients and channels to compare the performance between DBS and EEG recordings.

RESULTS

Thalamic DBS recordings were associated with a mean prediction rate of 84%, detection rate of 97%, and false-alarm rate of 0.79/hr. In comparison, scalp EEG recordings were associated with a mean prediction rate of 71%, detection rate of 100%, and false-alarm rate of 1.01/hr. From the ROC curves, when considering all channels, DBS outperformed EEG for both detection and prediction of seizures.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the first study to compare automated seizure detection and prediction from simultaneous thalamic and scalp EEG recordings. The authors have demonstrated that signals recorded from DBS leads are more robust than EEG recordings and can be used to predict and detect seizures. These results indicate feasibility for future designs of closed-loop anterior nucleus DBS systems for the treatment of epilepsy.

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Nicolas Kon Kam King, Vibhor Krishna, Diellor Basha, Gavin Elias, Francesco Sammartino, Mojgan Hodaie, Andres M. Lozano and William D. Hutchison

OBJECTIVE

The ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the thalamus is not visible on structural MRI. Therefore, direct VIM targeting methods for stereotactic tremor surgery are desirable. The authors previously described a direct targeting method for visualizing the VIM and its structural connectivity using deterministic tractography. In this combined electrophysiology and imaging study, the authors investigated the electrophysiology within this tractography-defined VIM (T-VIM).

METHODS

Thalamic neurons were classified based on their relative location to the T-VIM: dorsal, within, and ventral to the T-VIM. The authors identified the movement-responsive cells (kinesthetic and tremor cells), performed spike analysis (firing rate and burst index), and local field potential analysis (area under the curve for 13–30 Hz). Tremor efficacy in response to microstimulation along the electrode trajectory was also assessed in relation to the T-VIM.

RESULTS

Seventy-three cells from a total of 9 microelectrode tracks were included for this analysis. Movement-responsive cells (20 kinesthetic cells and 26 tremor cells) were identified throughout the electrode trajectories. The mean firing rate and burst index of cells (n = 27) within the T-VIM are 18.8 ± 9.8 Hz and 4.5 ± 5.4, respectively. Significant local field potential beta power was identified within the T-VIM (area under the curve for 13–30 Hz = 6.6 ± 7.7) with a trend toward higher beta power in the dorsal T-VIM. The most significant reduction in tremor was also observed in the dorsal T-VIM.

CONCLUSIONS

The electrophysiological findings within the VIM thalamus defined by tractography, or T-VIM, correspond with the known microelectrode recording characteristics of the VIM in patients with tremor.