Publications by authors named "Joseph Tal"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Validation of the freezing of gait questionnaire in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Mov Disord 2009 Apr;24(5):655-61

Movement Disorders Unit, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

To revalidate the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire (FOG-Q), patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) were randomly assigned to receive rasagiline (1 mg/day) (n = 150), entacapone (200 mg with each dose of levodopa) (n = 150), or placebo (n = 154). Patients were assessed at baseline and after 10 weeks using the FOG-Q, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39). FOG-Q dimensionality, test-retest reliability, and internal reliability were examined. Convergent and divergent validities were assessed by correlating FOG-Q with UPDRS, BDI, and PDQ-39. Comparisons between FOG-Q item 3 and UPDRS item 14 were also made. Principal component analysis indicated that FOG-Q measures a single dimension. Test-retest reliability and internal reliability of FOG-Q score was high. FOG-Q was best correlated to items of the UPDRS relating to walking, general motor issues, and mobility. Correlations between baseline and endpoint suggested that FOG-Q item 3 is at least as reliable as UPDRS item 14. At baseline, 85.9% of patients were identified as "Freezers" using FOG-Q item 3 (> or =1) and 44.1% using UPDRS item 14 (> or =1) (P < 0.001). FOG-Q was a reliable tool for the assessment of treatment intervention. FOG-Q item 3 was effective as a screening question for the presence of FOG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.21745DOI Listing
April 2009

Modulation of heart rate variability by estrogen in young women undergoing induction of ovulation.

Eur J Appl Physiol 2009 Feb 7;105(3):381-6. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Estrogens are involved in the modulation of the cardiovascular system, yet their effects in young women remains largely unknown. Women who undergo ovulation induction treatments attain extremely high estrogen concentrations during a very short time period. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of an acute increase in estrogens on the autonomic nervous system modulation of heart rate variability (HRV). A total of 27 women undergoing ovulation induction and 14 normally menstruating women were prospectively studied. HRV was assessed during nadir and peak estrogen using time domain and power spectral density analyses. A significant increase in high-frequency spectral power (243 +/- 77 vs. 188 +/- 73 ms(2)/Hz, P < 0.01) with a significant decrease in the ratio of low to high-frequency power was observed during estrogen peak in women undergoing induction of ovulation. The acute increase in estrogen in women undergoing ovulation induction was associated with vagal activation and altered sympathovagal balance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-008-0914-4DOI Listing
February 2009

Reliability and repeatability of the motor and sensory examination of the international standards for neurological classification of spinal cord injury.

J Spinal Cord Med 2008 ;31(2):166-70

Rehabilitation Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 132 S. 10th Street, 375 Main Bldg, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Objective: To determine the reliability and repeatability of the motor and sensory examination of the International Standards for Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in trained examiners.

Participants/methods: Sixteen examiners (8 physicians, 8 physical therapists) with clinical SCI experience and 16 patients participated in a reliability study in preparation for a clinical trial involving individuals with acute SCI. After a training session on the standards, each examiner evaluated 3 patients for motor, light touch (LT), and pin prick (PP). The following day, 15 examiners reevaluated one patient. Interrater reliability was determined using intraclass correlation coefficients (1-way, random effects model). Intrarater reliability was determined using a 2-way random effects model. Repeatability was determined using the method of Bland and Altman.

Results: Patients were classified as complete tetraplegia (n = 5), incomplete tetraplegia (n = 5), complete paraplegia (n = 5), and incomplete paraplegia (n = 1). Overall, inter-rater reliability was high: motor = 0.97, LT = 0.96, PP = 0.88. Repeatability values were small in patients with complete SCI (motor < 2 points, sensory < 7 points) but large for patients with incomplete SCI. Intra-rater reliability values were > or = 0.98 for patients with complete SCI.

Conclusions: The summed scores for motor, LT, and PP in subjects with complete SCI have high inter-rater reliability and small repeatability values. These measures are appropriately reliable for use in clinical trials involving serial neurological examinations with multiple examiners. Further research in subjects with incomplete SCI is needed to determine whether repeatability is acceptably small.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2565479PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10790268.2008.11760707DOI Listing
August 2008

Second-trimester uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index and maternal serum PP13 as markers of pre-eclampsia.

Prenat Diagn 2007 Mar;27(3):258-63

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Harold Wood Hospital, Romford, UK.

Objective: To evaluate whether measurement of maternal serum PP13 at 22 to 24 weeks of gestation, alone or in combination with second-trimester biochemical markers or uterine artery pulsatility measured by Doppler velocimetry, is useful in predicting those women at risk of developing pre-eclampsia.

Study Design: A nested case-control study of pre-eclampsia cases with controls matched for gestational age and storage time for the maternal serum. PP13 was tested by an ELISA, with the samples blinded to pregnancy outcome. All patients also underwent uterine artery Doppler flow velocimetry at 22-24 weeks to measure the mean pulsatility index (PI). Results for Inhibin, Activin, PAPP-A and Free beta-hCG were available from previous studies.

Results: There were 73 controls and five cases with early pre-eclampsia in which delivery was induced prior to 35 weeks. In addition, there were a further seven cases with pre-eclampsia in which delivery was not induced before term. Median PP13 levels for controls and all cases were 295.9 and 212.6 pg/ml, and 171.2 pg/ml amongst the early pre-eclampsia cases, with the MoMs 1.00, 0.94 and 0.63, respectively (p < 0.001). Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis for either all cases or early cases versus controls yielded areas under the curve of 0.588 (95% CI: 0.42-0.76; p = 0.1526) and 0.693 (0.47-0.92; p = 0.0441) for PP13. At a specificity set to 0.80, the sensitivity for PP13 in the early cases was 0.40 and that in all cases was 0.25. Combining PP13 bivariately with any of the markers (PI, PAPP-A, Activin, Inhibin or Free beta-hCG) tested in the 22-24 week period did not improve the detection of early, late or all cases of pre-eclampsia compared with either marker alone.

Conclusion: Late second-trimester PP13 alone is unlikely to be useful in predicting pre-eclampsia and early pre-eclampsia, and its prediction does not increase when coupled with second-trimester Doppler PI or other potential biochemical markers. Measuring between-trimester temporal changes may be worthy of further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.1664DOI Listing
March 2007

Subendometrial arterial spectral doppler assessment during IVF cycles and its correlation with treatment outcome.

Ultrasound Med Biol 2006 Feb;32(2):157-62

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ultrasound Unit and IVF Unit, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

The influence of blood flow impedance in subendometrial arteries on embryo implantation rate was investigated by transvaginal sonographic examination in in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. A total of 39 women undergoing IVF treatment were evaluated along the treatment cycle. Power and spectral Doppler studies of subendometrial arteries were performed to calculate the pulsatility index (PI), resistance index (RI) and systolic:diastolic ratio (S:D). The correlation between these parameters and pregnancy achievement was analyzed. Patients were grouped according to whether pregnancy was achieved or not. RI and S:D did not differ between the groups along the course of treatment. In pregnant patients, the PI was significantly lower in the beginning of the cycle than on the preovulation day and ovum pickup day. PI in the beginning of the treatment was significantly lower in pregnancy cycles than in nonpregnancy ones. A lower PI on day 1 was correlated with a better chance for pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2005.09.012DOI Listing
February 2006

Decidualization of ovarian endometriosis during pregnancy mimicking malignancy.

J Ultrasound Med 2005 Sep;24(9):1289-94

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, PO Box 4940, Haifa 31048, Israel.

Objective: The purpose of this series is to present deciduosis (the formation of extrauterine decidua) as one of the differential diagnoses of a malignant tumor during pregnancy.

Methods: Two cases are described in which pregnant patients had a pelvic tumor. The lesions, which were diagnosed in the early second trimester, consisted of complex masses with an extensive blood supply and had a sonographic appearance of a malignant tumor. The high suspicion for malignancy necessitated surgical intervention.

Results: During surgery, the lesions were observed to be of an ovarian origin with papillary excrescences covering their exterior. The lesions were excised and sent for histologic examination. The results showed a markedly decidualized endometriotic cyst in both cases.

Conclusions: This phenomenon is a diagnostic challenge and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a malignant mass during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/jum.2005.24.9.1289DOI Listing
September 2005

Primary ovarian ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosed as first-trimester missed abortion.

J Ultrasound Med 2005 Apr;24(4):539-43; quiz 544-5

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/jum.2005.24.4.539DOI Listing
April 2005

Herpes simplex virus type 2 seropositivity in a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Israel.

Isr Med Assoc J 2003 Sep;5(9):626-8

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Background: Seroepidemeliogic surveys have provided valuable information on the prevalence and incidence of herpes simplex virus-2 infection in general and in selected populations.

Objective: To review the reliability of traditional diagnostic approaches in herpes simplex virus-2 infection.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 472 patients attending a clinic for sexually transmitted disease in 1998-1999 were evaluated for HSV-2 infection through collection of epidemiologic and clinical data. HSV-2 infection was confirmed by the presence of specific viral glycoprotein, gG-2, antibody in sera.

Results: The seroprevalence of HSV-2 among clinic attendees was 9.33%. Of these attendees only 22% presented with or reported a history of typical vesicular lesions in the genital area. Infection rate was higher in patients with multiple sex partners (20.8% vs. 8.7%, P < or = 0.0023), in individuals aged 30 or older (12.6 vs. 6.4%, P = 0.03) and in the Israeli Jewish population as compared to the Israeli Arab population (11.1% vs. 2.4%, P < or = 0.01). Females with multiple sex partners exhibited higher rates of infection than did their male counterparts (50 vs. 16.1%, P < or = 0.0275).

Conclusion: The findings support the need for HSV-2 serologic testing in patients presenting to STD clinics even when typical genital lesions are not evident but where risk factors for HSV-2 infection are identified.
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September 2003

Diagnosis of pregnancy-associated uterine venous plexus thrombosis on the basis of transvaginal sonography.

J Ultrasound Med 2003 Mar;22(3):287-93

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Objective: To describe the sonographic signs of uterine venous plexus thrombosis.

Methods: Four pregnant patients had a diagnosis of uterine venous plexus thrombosis in the first half of gestation. The diagnosis was based on transvaginal sonography only in 3 cases, and the fourth had magnetic resonance imaging corroboration.

Results: All 4 patients had similar sonographic features of uterine venous plexus thrombosis on transvaginal sonographic examination. The thrombi within the dilated veins were shown as elongated echogenic structures along the lumen that appeared round on transverse views of the affected veins. They showed swinging movements provoked by gentle transducer pressure. Power and color Doppler sonography enhanced the uterine venous plexus thrombosis diagnosis by showing blood flow around the thrombi. There were no signs of thromboembolic disease. Sonographic findings in deep leg veins and iliac veins were normal in all cases. Complete thrombophilia studies did not reveal any abnormalities. The uterine venous plexus thrombosis could not be detected on transabdominal sonography and was shown better by transvaginal sonography compared with magnetic resonance imaging. During 3 months of anticoagulation therapy, the thrombi gradually disappeared in all cases.

Conclusions: Focusing on the pelvic veins while performing a transvaginal sonographic study during pregnancy may reveal important findings, which may have clinical implications. The therapeutic treatment of uterine venous plexus thrombosis is controversial and still empirical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/jum.2003.22.3.287DOI Listing
March 2003

Agents of non-gonococcal urethritis in males attending an Israeli clinic for sexually transmitted diseases.

Isr Med Assoc J 2003 Jan;5(1):24-7

Departments of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Technion Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel.

Background: Non-gonococcal urethritis is the most common clinical diagnosis in men seeking care at clinics for sexually transmitted diseases.

Objective: To identify the pathogens involved in NGU among males attending an Israeli STD clinic.

Methods: During 19 months spanning September 1996 to July 1998 we investigated a cohort of 238 male patients attending the Bnai Zion Medical Center STD clinic with a clinical presentation of urethritis. Intraurethral swab specimens were tested for Neisseria gonorrhea, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, and Trichomonas vaginalis by culture and for herpes simplex virus by antigen detection. First voiding urine for C. trachomatis was done by polymerase chain reaction. The specific seropositivities of HSV types 1 and 2 were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: From among 238 males with dysuria or urethral discharge an etiology for urethritis was found for 71 (29.8%). N. gonorrhea was recovered in only three men (4.2%). In the remaining 68 NGU patients Chlamydia trachomatis (35/68, 51.5%) and U. urealyticum (31/68, 45.6%) were the most common infecting and co-infecting pathogens (P < 0.0001). M. hominis and T. vaginalis were found in 9/68 (13.2%), and 1 patient, respectively. HSV was recovered from the urethra in 7/68 males (10.3%)--3 with HSV-1, 2 with HSV-2, and 2 were seronegative for HSV. None of these males had genital lesions. Although a single etiologic agent was identified in 45/68 infected men (66.2%), co-infection was common: 2 organisms in 15 (22%) and 3 organisms in 8 (11.8%).

Conclusion: C. trachomatis and U. urealyticum were the most common infecting and co-infecting pathogens in this cohort of men with NGU. Unrecognized genital HSV infections are common in males attending our STD clinic, and symptomatic shedding of HSV occurs without genital lesions. Still, the microbial etiology in this group remains unclear in many patients despite careful microbiologic evaluation.
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January 2003

Ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation in repeated IVF cycles after unilateral salpingectomy.

J Assist Reprod Genet 2002 Oct;19(10):451-5

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Purpose: This study aimed to examine ovarian response to gonadotrpoin stimulation after repeated IVF treatment cycles in patients who underwent previous unilateral salpingectomy for tubal pregnancy.

Methods: The study group included 26 patients who underwent unilateral salpingectomy for tubal pregnancy 1-9 years prior to starting IVF treatment. A control group of 52 patients with anatomically intact pelvis was treated during the same time period by ICSI. The two groups were matched for age, number of gonadotropin ampules, and length of stimulation. End point measurements included number of follicles, oocytes, and cleaved embryos in consecutive treatment cycles of each group.

Results: There were 98 cycles in the study group and 154 cycles in the control group. The mean number of follicles, retrieved oocytes, and cleaved embryos were not different in the two groups, and no reductions in these parameters were noted up to 10 cycles of treatment. The mean number of follicles ipsilateral to the operated side was similar to the number of follicles of the contralateral ovary and was not different whether salpingectomy was by laparoscopy or laparotomy.

Conclusions: Unilateral salpingectomy does not affect ipsilateral ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation even after repeated IVF treatment cycles.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3455679PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1020302301326DOI Listing
October 2002
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