Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is characterized by dilated ventricles and a combination of gait impairment, cognition impairment, and loss of urinary control (urgency and incontinence). The only effective treatment for NPH is a CSF shunt; however, only a small percentage of patients ever receive it. The features of gait impairment in patients with NPH are difficult to distinguish from patients of neurodegenerative disorders with motor involvement, such as parkinsonism or dementia with Lewy bodies. CT or MRI imaging is required for the diagnosis of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. An Evans ratio of more than 0.3 indicates large ventricles, and a ratio of more than 0.33 indicates very large ventricles, but is not specific for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. The international and Japanese guidelines support shunt surgery as effective treatment of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus, as does the American Academy of Neurology practice guideline. There is a need to provide longitudinal care of patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus after shunt surgery as all symptoms respond well to shunt surgery.
Part of the book: New Insight into Cerebrovascular Diseases
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a granulomatous vasculitis affecting large- and medium-sized arteries in the elderly and potentially causes visual loss. In an elderly patient presenting with acute pain in the distribution of the external carotid artery (e.g., headache, scalp tenderness); polymyalgia rhematica; or acute/transient visual loss or diplopia; a possibility of GCA should be considered in one of the differential diagnosis. Urgent laboratory evaluation (e.g., ESR, CRP, platelet count), followed immediately by empiric high-dose corticosteroid therapy is warranted in patients suspected of having GCA. Although ultrasound techniques are sensitive for the diagnosis of GCA, TAB remains the best confirmatory test. Patients with GCA often require long durations of steroid therapy and steroid-related complications are common. Multidisciplinary care and the use of steroid-sparing regimens are warranted in case of relapse.
Part of the book: Giant-Cell Arteritis