Spotlight on Primary stabbing headache

Primary stabbing headache is usually a benign self-limited primary headache disorder, consisting of sharp stabs of head pain. In this article, Dr. Rashmi Halker Singh of the Mayo Clinic overviews the clinical symptoms, classification, etiology, and treatment of primary stabbing headache. Indomethacin is the main therapeutic option for this type of headache, but melatonin has been shown to be effective in some cases. Primary stabbing headache can occur in isolation, but it is frequently comorbid with another primary headache disorder such as migraine.

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Spotlight on EEG in epilepsy

In this article, Dr. William Tatum, Dr. Nimit Desai, and Dr. Jason Siegel of Mayo Clinic discuss the use of electroencephalogram for evaluating people with possible epilepsy. EEG is most useful because it may provide specific neurophysiological information to support the clinical diagnosis. Based on the type of interictal epileptiform discharges, EEG may help classify the seizure type or epilepsy syndrome. EEG findings can guide management, from directing antiseizure drug management to localizing an epileptogenic zone for neurosurgical treatment. Furthermore, EEG is an important adjunct to the clinical examination in the critically ill patients for diagnosing and treating unrecognized seizures and nonconvulsive status epilepticus.

The utility of EEG has extended from a widely available, versatile, portable electrophysiological study to a sophisticated computer-based clinical and research metric that is elemental in exploring fundamental brain function.

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Spotlight on Spinal epidural abscess

Spinal epidural abscess represents loculated infection within the fat-filled space that separates the spinal dura and arachnoid. The condition is a neurologic and neurosurgical emergency that, if unrecognized, may cause devastating neurologic injury or death. Because of its infrequent occurrence, however, the possibility of epidural abscess tends not to be considered in patients presenting with fever and back or neck pain; for this reason, failure to recognize this spinal epidural abscess makes this condition a significant cause of litigation for malpractice.

In this article, Dr. John Greenlee of the University of Utah School of Medicine reviews the pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of this disorder.

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