Thursday, January 19, 2012

How we're doin'

I just checked the stats on Neuropathology Blog just to see where we stand. Here's where we stand at the moment:

So far today:
Number of pageviews: 291

Entire history since blog's inception in October of 2011:
Blog posts: 364
Comments: 746
Pageviews total: 189,440


Not too bad!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Best Post of July 2011: Formal Guidelines for Alzheimer's Genetic Testing Issued

The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from July 19, 2011:

Dr. Edward B. Lee
In recent posts, I discussed the availability of direct-to-consumer ApoE testing and the fact that I myself submitted buccal cells to 23andMe.com to discover my own ApoE status. The illustrious Eddie Lee, MD, PhD just emailed me news that the American College of Medical Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors have recently issued formal guidelines regarding ApoE testing in patients. Reported and discussed on the Alzheimer Research Forum, the guidelines, published in the June issue of Genetics in Medicine, identify which individuals may benefit from genetic testing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Area Postrema is not the only place where the BBB is lacking

I'll paraphrase a question posed by one of my 2nd-year students at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine:

I understand that the Area Postrema was a site where there was increased penetrability of the blood brain barrier. I am not sure, but thought I had come across additional sites of increased penetrability last year in my reading. Are there other sites where there is increased permeability of the BBB?

In pondering an answer to this question, I immediately thought of the illustrious Dr. John Donahue, consummate neurologist, neuropathologist, and neuroanatomist.  I posed the question to him and got the following response:

Dr. John Donahue, Brown University, Providence, RI
"Not increased permability of the BBB.  NO BBB!  Area postrema is one of the circumventricular organs, areas in the brain that lack a BBB.  Being the vomiting center, it is imperative that it lacks a BBB so that it can sample the systemic circulation.  Being in the medulla, it is the only circumventricular organ that is adjacent to the fourth ventricle; all of the others are adjacent to the third.  It is the only paired circumventricular organ; all of the others are single and midline.  The other circumventricular organs are subfornical organ, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, median eminence, posterior pituitary gland, subcommissural organ, and pineal gland."

There you have it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Frosted Cerebellum

In frigid Massachusetts, forensic neuropathologist Peter Cummings, MD awoke this morning to find a cerebellum frosted on his bedroom window. Atrophic, yes, but a cerebellum nonetheless.