Clinical Neuroscience

[A prospective study evaluating the clinical characteristics of cluster headache]


SEPTEMBER 30, 2012

Clinical Neuroscience - 2012;65(09-10)

[Introduction - Although cluster headache (CH) is one of the most severe human pain syndromes, its symptoms and therapeutic possibilities may be suboptimally recognised in current medical practice in Hungary. Aim - To present the clinical characteristics of CH based on a prospective study of patients attending the Headache Service of the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University. Methods - We collected information about the symptoms, diagnosis and previous treatment of CH patients by filling in a 108-item questionnaire during outpatient visits. Results - In the 5-year period between 2004 and 2008 we obtained data from 78 CH patients (57 males and 21 females; mean age: 44.6±14.6 years). The male:female ratio did not change in subgroups based on disease onset (calendar years). Ninety-three percent considered CH the most severe pain state of their life. The pain was strictly unilateral, affecting the territory of the 1st trigeminal division in all patients. The attacks were accompanied by signs of ipsilateral cranial parasympathetic activation (lactimation 83%, conjunctival injection 67%, rhinorrhea 56%, nasal congestion 43%); less frequently, signs of sympathetic dysfunction (ptosis 48%, miosis 7%) were also present. Two patients had attacks showing the typical localisation, severity and time course of CH attacks, but not accompanied by autonomic phenomena. A considerable part of the patients also observed symptoms that are usually ascribed to migraine (nausea 41%, vomiting 18%, photophobia 68%, phonophobia 58%). This may have been instrumental in the fact that, regardless of the characteristic clinical symptoms, the diagnosis of CH took 10 years on average. At the time of their examination 63% of patients were not using adequate abortive medications and 59% did not have an adequate prophylactic measure. Discussion - Cluster headache is characterised by attacks of devastating pain that warrant an early diagnosis and adequate treatment. Our study underlines that information about the diagnosis and therapy of CH should be emphasized on occasions of neurology specialty training and continuing medical education.]



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Clinical Neuroscience

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PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Editorial message]

SZOK Délia

[Editorial message 2012;65(09-10)]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Developmental neurology, development of the self-awareness, the communication and the movement Marianne Berényi, Ferenc Katona]


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Clinical Neuroscience

[Dear Colleagues!]


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[Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) refers to chronic orofacial pain, unaccompanied by mucosal lesions or other evident clinical signs. It is observed principally in middle-aged patients and postmenopausal women. BMS is characterized by an intense burning or stinging sensation, preferably on the tongue or in other areas of the oral mucosa. It can be accompanied by other sensory disorders such as dry mouth or taste alterations. Probably of multifactorial origin, and often idiopathic, with a still unknown etiopathogenesis in which local, systemic and psychological factors are implicated. Currently there is no consensus on the diagnosis and classification of BMS. This study reviews the literature on this syndrome, with special reference to the etiological factors that may be involved and the clinical aspects they present. The diagnostic criteria that should be followed and the therapeutic management are discussed with reference to the most recent studies.]

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[Introduction - Cluster headache (CH), which affects 0.1% of the population, is one of the most painful human conditions: despite adequate treatment, the frequent and severe headaches cause a significant burden to the patients. According to a small number of previous studies, CH has a serious negative effect on the sufferers’ quality of life (QOL). In the current study, we set out to examine the quality of life of the CH patients attending our outpatient service between 2013 and 2016, using generic and headache-specific QOL instruments. Methods - A total of 42 CH patients (16 females and 26 males; mean age: 39.1±13.5 years) completed the SF-36 generic QOL questionnaire and the headache- specific CHQQ questionnaire (Comprehensive Headache- related Quality of life Questionnaire), during the active phase of their headache. Their data were compared to those of patients suffering from chronic tension type headache (CTH) and to data obtained from controls not suffering from significant forms of headache, using Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results - During the active phase of the CH, the patients’ generic QOL was significantly worse than that of normal controls in four of the 8 domains of the SF-36 instrument. Apart from a significantly worse result in the ‘Bodily pain’ SF-36 domain, there were no significant differences between the CH patients’ and the CTH patients’ results. All the dimensions and the total score of the headache-specific CHQQ instrument showed significantly worse QOL in the CH group than in the CTH group or in the control group. Conclusion - Cluster headache has a significant negative effect on the quality of life. The decrease of QOL experienced by the patients was better reflected by the headache-specific CHQQ instrument than by the generic SF-36 instrument. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

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[Cluster headache is a rare, very severe disorder which is clinically well characterized with a relatively poorly defined pathomechanism. Concerning the pathomechanism of cluster type headache, from the clinical symptoms three things can be inferred. The fact that head pain is centred dominantly around the eye and fore head makes it probable that the unilateral trigeminal nociceptive pathways are involved. Lacrimation and rhinorrhoea suggest the activation of the parasympa thetic, while ptosis and miosis suggest the sympathetic innervation of the region. There is a reflex connection within the brainstem that may be activated when the Gasserion ganglion is stimulated. The afferent of the reflex circle comes from the central branch of the ophthalmic division as the sensory trigeminal nerve. The parasympathetic nuclei of the seventh and ninth cranial nerves are the centre. The efferents are the parasympathetic peripheral branches of the VIlth and IXth cranial nerves. During spontaneous and nitroglycerin induced cluster attacks the levels of CGRP and VIP increased in the blood of external jugular vein. Oxygen inhalation or subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan reduced the CGRP concentration to normal. This observation supports the function of the trigeminovascular reflex in cluster headache.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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[Cluster headache, one of the most painful conditions known, is encountered infrequently in clinical practice. It is characterized by recurrent, unilateral attacks of severe intensity, brief duration and often accompanied by signs and symptoms of autonomic dysfunction. The actual cause of the pain has not been fully elucidated, but most authors believe that the pain arises as a result of a local vasodilatation with a release of certain neuropeptides to the perivascular tissues, resulting in sterile neurogenic inflammation and oedema. Aetiology is absolutely unknown. Treatment can be given as prophylaxis and/or as a symptomatic acute therapy for individual attacks. In the prophylaxis of episodic cluster headache ergotamine, calciumentry blockers, serotonin inhibitors and steroids are used. In chronic cluster headache lithium is the drug of choice, but verapamil may also be tried. Acute therapy has included ergotamine, oxygen inhalation and sumatriptan. Rarely, surgical intervention may be considered.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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