Building Bridges in Medical Science 2021 Conference Proceedings

The Building Bridges in Medical Science 2021 Conference was held virtually on March 6th, 2021. Abstracts were judged by panel consisting of representatives from both the BBMS Organising Committee and the Cambridge Medicine Journal. A selection of abstracts are included in this set of conference proceedings, published by the Cambridge Medicine Journal.

Posterior Circulation Ischaemic Stroke Imaging – Correlates and Perspectives

Posterior circulation ischaemic stroke (PCIS) is a disease of high mortality and morbidity. However, current research predominantly focuses on the anterior circulation, specifically the internal carotid artery. Recommendations of change are required for the improvement of clinical outcomes.

Endeavouring to Improve Glioblastoma Multiforme Patient Prognosis – A Literature Review of Biomarkers and Novel Therapeutic Approaches

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) patients typically deteriorate at a rapid rate, and survive an average of 15 months from diagnosis – despite clinical intervention with the current approach of maximal surgical resection and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Tumour recurrence and treatment resistance remain inevitable with this standard treatment protocol, and therefore, we must endeavour to investigate more efficacious alternatives which offer better patients better prognosis and quality of life.

Cefepime-induced Cotard syndrome: a case report

Cotard syndrome features nihilistic delusions about one’s body or existence and is typically related to severe depression though is rarely associated with medical or neurological insults. The patient was a 62-year-old male with no past psychiatric history and a past medical history of congestive heart failure and consequent renal failure who presented for scheduled heart and kidney transplantation. He was started on routine post-transplant ganciclovir and steroids. Due to postoperative hypotension, empiric cefepime was initiated to cover for septic shock. One week postoperatively, the patient stated “I am dead.”

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.