Category Archives: Medical Knowledge

Involve the Palliative Care Team Early

Here’s a sad story about a family’s struggle with their young son’s fatal ordeal with New Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus (NORSE). NORSE is basically super-refractory status absent an obvious precipitating injury such as encephalitis. The main theme in this account is … Continue reading

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Brain Death Resources

In light of the documented variability in the conduct of brain death evaluations around the country, and the ultra-high stakes, it’s extremely important for residents to know how to do this correctly. I recently became aware of a brain death … Continue reading

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Serotonin Syndrome and Ocular Flutter

Serotonin Syndrome is an important entity for residents to be aware of. It’s a toxicity resulting from the use of serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors and similar drugs, and interactions of those drugs with others such as tramadol and possibly linezolid. The … Continue reading

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Damn It, Basal Ganglia by Radiolab

Challenge case! Listen to this 12 minute Radiolab podcast and see whether and how fast you can make the diagnosis. The picture below provides a clue. The next paragraph has the answer, so don’t read it until you’re ready.

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Robin Williams’s Lewy Body Disease

Robin Williams, who committed suicide in 2014, turned out to have Lewy Body Disease. His widow has written a poignant and informative essay on their struggles with the disease in the current Green Journal. I think these kinds of accounts … Continue reading

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Nevada, Brain Death, and the AAN Guidelines–part 2

The last post discussed the first concern that the Nevada supreme court had regarding the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) guidelines on brain death–that they may not qualify as an “accepted medical standard” as required by the Uniform Determination of … Continue reading

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Nevada Supreme Court Questions AAN Brain Death Criteria

Confronted with just about any clinical question, my general practice is to first1After proceeding through the traditional neurological formulation, of course. consider whether there is high-quality evidence to guide decision-making. The best place to search for such evidence is in … Continue reading

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No Laughing Matter

Now that everyone’s settled into the new year, I’m sure that you’re all counting down the five months and three days until the 2016 RITE exam! Joy. If it makes you feel any better, I’m in a similar boat, with … Continue reading

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Medical Cannabis

Welcome to our new residents and new subscribers–our tiny community grew by 3 people this past week–a record! Medical cannabis1I use the term “cannabis” instead of “marijuana” because of the latter’s xenophobic and racist associations. might seem to be an odd … Continue reading

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An Aristotelian Take on Brain Death

In a recent post, I summarized two opposing arguments over the concept of brain death. The minority view, (re-)articulated by Dr. Alan Shewmon in the context of the Jahi McMath case, is that the concept is philosophically incoherent. People with total … Continue reading

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