Optogenetics and its influence on the clinical neurosciences

Optogenetics, the control of neural activity using light, is a recent development in the field of clinical neuroscience and has brought significant reform to the domain. The “optogenetic revolution” has fueled the expansion of three main areas: the cell-specific understanding of neurodegenerative disorders, development of new treatment methods and evolution of biotechnological approaches. The possibility created by optogenetics of single-cell manipulation and the identification of specific neuronal pathways allows for a radically clearer grasp of the brain’s functioning. However, despite its promising outlook, the future of optogenetics remains unclear. Especially the transition from animal-based models to human application requires a significant advancement of the field, with technological and physiological obstacles that have so far proven unsurpassable. Thus, the question is posed whether the rapid change which optogenetics brought to clinical neurosciences will continue gaining momentum in the coming years.

Gene dysregulation as a driver of acquired temporal lobe epilepsy: A Literature Review

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the commonest focal epilepsy. Acquired TLE is considered to occur as the result of a 3-phase process called epileptogenesis. Firstly, an ‘epileptogenic event’ occurs, for example traumatic brain injury. Next follows a latent period whereby hyperexcitable networks form and lower the seizure threshold. Finally, TLE emerges. The objective of this review is to investigate how gene dysregulation drives hyperexcitability during epileptogenesis.

A Comparison of the Efficacy of Diagnostic Imaging Modalities in Detecting COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, the urgency for effective diagnostic testing escalates. Medical imaging has revolutionized healthcare as a critical step to early diagnosis, leading to immediate isolation and optimized treatment pathways. Current imaging modalities such as the lung ultrasound, chest X-ray, and computed tomography (CT) scan are critical in COVID-19 detection. However, overlap in clinical characteristics with other viral respiratory illnesses poses a significant risk for misdiagnosis.

Extensive cervical necrotising fasciitis with mediastinitis in a COVID-19 positive patient: a case report

Necrotising fasciitis is a rapidly progressing soft tissue infection associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We present a case of cervical necrotising fasciitis with mediastinal extension in a diabetic young male who was COVID-19 positive. He presented with a five-day history of left-sided neck swelling which was fluctuant, red and painful. Subsequent debridement and management of the wound were complicated by the comorbid SARS-CoV2 infection due to potential need for proning. This case highlights the complex interplay between the management of two significant conditions; the surgical approach to necrotising fasciitis and the concern of deterioration due to COVID-19.

Do we need an elective for our medical education?

Medical electives have been part of the medical school curriculum since the 1970s in the United Kingdom. They are typically 4-8 week medical placements organised by the student in a field they are interested in. Electives are an extended period to increase understanding of global health, improve our clinical skills and deepen understanding of a speciality. They are the only part of the course in which students have autonomy over their learning.

The first report of severe Haemophilia A in combination with spontaneous internal carotid artery dissection

This report highlights the management challenges in patients with severe inherited bleeding disorders who develop an indication for anticoagulation or anti-platelet treatment in the context of the relativity uncommon entity of carotid artery dissection.