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A Rare MRI Finding In Multiple Sclerosis

Gray matter (GM) damage, in terms of focal lesions,1 “diffuse” tissue injury, and atrophy is a well-known feature of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recently, T1-hyperintensity on unenhanced T1-weighted sequences has been found in the dentate nuclei of patients with MS with severe disability and high T2 lesion load.2 Such an abnormality has been interpreted as an additional sign of the neurodegenerative processes known to occur in the course of MS. This report describes a patient who, despite being mildly disabled and having a low T2 lesion load and no evident brain atrophy, showed a bilateral dentate nucleus T1 hyperintensity.

The patient was a 44-year-old man who had a diagnosis of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in September 1997, after 3 relapses that occurred in June 1995, March 1997, and September 1997. Brain and cord MR imaging and CSF examination were suggestive of MS. After the diagnosis, he started treatment with interferonβ-1α, with clinical stability until January 2009, when he complained of vertigo, which gradually resolved after 5 days of steroidtreatment (methylprednisolone, 1 g daily intravenously). In September 2010, he entered a research protocol and underwent neurologic and neuropsychologic (Rao Brief Repeatable Neuropsychological Battery) evaluations and brain MR imaging on a 3T scanner. The neurologic examination showed Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at AJNR Blog*

Case Report: A Third Cerebellar Hemisphere?!

Improved visualization of the posterior fossa structures has led to an increased recognition of cerebellar malformations, including the Dandy-Walker malformation, Joubert syndrome, rhombencephalosynapsis, tectocerebellar dysrhaphia, and so forth. New anomalies continue to be discovered, highlighting the fact that cerebellar anomalies are poorly understood and have largely been ignored in the literature. We present a structural anomaly of the cerebellum, which we believe has not been previously reported.

A 16-month-old girl presented to the pediatric outpatient department with some delayed developmental milestones. She was full-term with a normal vaginal delivery and no history suggestive of perinatal asphyxia. The motor milestones were delayed, and the child could not stand. The other milestones, including language and socialization, were normal. Examination revealed a bony hard swelling in the occipital region, which, according to the mother, was noticed soon after birth. The occipitofrontal circumference was 52 cm, and the anterior fontanelle was open. There was generalized hypotonia, and the deep tendon reflexes were depressed. Mild truncal ataxia was observed, but there was no nystagmus. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at AJNR Blog*

The “I Get It” Moment In Direct-Pay Primary Care

After seven years, my wife has finally stopped asking me for “The Power of DocTalker” story of the day. Now when I start with the details of the latest case report justifying the model, she stops me with “I get it, I get it! Go write the case report up and post it on your website for others to ‘get it,’ too.”

Case reports center on the mission of our medical practice, with points regarding care that include quality, accessibility, convenience, affordability, empowerment, trust, and price transparency. Because our patients pay us directly for the service and don’t necessarily expect any insurance “reimbursement,” we are a very unique practice. We adhere to the points in our mission and also outperform all our local competition — i.e. medical offices that accept insurance payment for service in order to survive as a business.

To the patient, our services cost a lot less than services available via the insurance model. About 40 percent of our clientele have no insurance, and the other 60 percent have insurance yet chose to use our services because they believe it’s worth paying directly in order to assume control of their care. (As a quick aside — my favorite clients in this group are health insurance executives and CEOs of large companies, who have the best health insurance in the country.) Read more »

Case Report of a Cystosarcoma Phyllodes Tumor

Photo scanned in from article

Flipping through my current copy of The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society, I was surprised to see this case report (full reference below) of a 30.8 pound cystosarcoma phyllodes of the breast. The accompanying photos are impressive. Many questions filled my head – Why did the woman wait so long to seek care? How did she manage to physically do her daily chores on the farm? How did she manage to find clothing to wear?

I scanned this photo in from the article. The patient’s history is as follows: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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