Clinical Neuroscience

[Alemtuzumab therapy 2017]

BIERNACKI Tamás, BENCSIK Krisztina, SANDI Dániel, VÉCSEI László

NOVEMBER 30, 2017

Clinical Neuroscience - 2017;70(11-12)


[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system comprising of inflammation, demyelinisation and neurodegeneration. The natural history of MS is heterogenous. Owing to the vast range and severity of the symptoms MS can cause the effect of the disease on one’s cognitive and physical status is unpredictable. According to the new, phenotype based classification two subgroups can be distinguished; relapsing-remitting (RR) and progressive MS. Relapsing-remitting MS can be further divided into active and inactive disease. The activity of the disease can be proven either clinically and/or by radiological means. A patient’s disease is considered inactive, if it fulfills the criteriae set in the “no evidence of disease activity-3” (NEDA-3) concept, meaning that no progression can be seen on the MRI scans, the patient is relapse free and there is no worsening on any disability scale. Nowadays a paradigm shift can be seen in the treatment of MS. The aim of this shift is to provide each and every patient with the most potent medication best suiting his/her illness as soon as possible. Alemtuzumab offers a great option as either a first line treatment or as escalation therapy for patients with a highly active disease. The efficacy of alemtuzumab was proven in two phase III trials (CARE-MS I, II), where it was compared to subcutaneous interferon b-1a, administered three times weekly. In both studies alemtuzumab was superior to subcutaneous interferon b-1a in terms of relapse rate reduction, in all scouted MRI parameters. In the CARE-MS II trial it was found superior in terms of progression slowing. In the studies’ first 2 years 32% and 39% of the alemtuzumab treated patients managed to achieve the NEDA-3 state (data from CARE-MS II and I respectively). At the end of the 4 year extension of both studies these numbers have increased to 60% and 55% respectively. The aim of our synopsis is to suggest neurologists an evidence based guideline, a therapeutic algorithm to be used when they give their MS patients the very best, personalised treatment, and also to appoint the recently introduced alemtuzumab to its proper place in the algorithm.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

A case with reversible neurotoxicity induced by metronidazole

EREN Fulya, ALDAN Ali Mehmet, DOGAN Burcu Vasfiye, GUL Gunay, SELCUK Hatem Hakan, SOYSAL Aysun

Background - Metronidazole is a synthetic antibiotic, which has been commonly used for protozoal and anaerobic infections. It rarely causes dose - and duration - unrelated reversible neurotoxicity. It can induce hyperintense T2/FLAIR MRI lesions in several areas of the brain. Although the clinical status is catastrophic, it is completely reversible after discontinuation of the medicine. Case report - 36-year-old female patient who had recent brain abscess history was under treatment of metronidazole for 40 days. She admitted to Emergency Department with newly onset myalgia, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and cerebellar signs. She had nystagmus in all directions of gaze, ataxia and incompetence in tandem walk. Bilateral hyperintense lesions in splenium of corpus callosum, mesencephalon and dentate nuclei were detected in T2/FLAIR MRI. Although lumbar puncture analysis was normal, her lesions were thought to be related to activation of the brain abscess and metronidazole was started to be given by intravenous way instead of oral. As lesions got bigger and clinical status got worse, metronidazole was stopped. After discontinuation of metronidazole, we detected a dramatic improvement in patient’s clinical status and MRI lesions reduced. Conclusion - Although metronidazole induced neurotoxicity is a very rare complication of the treatment, clinicians should be aware of this entity because its adverse effects are completely reversible after discontinuation of the treatment.

Clinical Neuroscience

Nerve conduction study and gastrocnemius H reflex response in rheumatoid arthritis

EMRE Ufuk, ORTANCIL Özgül, UNAL Aysun, KIRAN Sibel, SAPMAZ Perihan, ATASOY Tugrul

Objectives - We aimed to evaluate nerve conduction studies and gastrocnemius H reflex responses in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and compared to the healthy adult subjects. Materials and methods - Twenty-six RA patients and twenty-two healthy adult subjects were included in the study. The nerve conduction study (NCS) findings and bilateral gastrocnemius H reflex responses were evaluated in all the groups. Age, gender, subcutaneous nodules, joint deformities, laboratory parameters, duration of disease, anti-rheumatic drug and steroid usage were recorded. Activity of disease was assessed using a 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28).The functional status was measured using the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ), pain intensity measured using a visual analog scale (VAS). Results - The rate of electroneuromyographic (ENMG) abnormalities was 73% in RA patients. The most common diagnosis was carpal tunnel syndrome (61.4%). There were no significant correlations between ENMG findings and clinical and laboratory features evaluated. Right H reflex latencies were statistically longer in RA patients (p=0.03). According to calculated cut-off levels, there were more subjects with longer H reflex latencies in RA patients. Conclusions - In this study, entrapment neuropathies were found common as independent identity from duration and severity of disease in RA patients. For H reflex latencies, cut-off values were longer in RA patients. It may provide information about the early neuropathic involvement of long peripheral nerves in RA patients. But this findings are needed to be supported by larger population study.

Clinical Neuroscience

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome as an initial manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus

AYAS Özözen Zeynep, ÖCAL Öncel Ruhsen, GÜNDOGDU Aksoy Asli

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a disorder which is diagnosed with its characteristic clinical and radiological findings, typically resolves with treatment. The prevalence of PRES in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients is not exactly known. A systemic disorder frequently appears as a presenting symptom in SLE. However, in rare cases, the disease starts with a neurological manifestation. Here we report a 35-year-old woman presenting with a headache and blurred vision. She had neurologic symptoms and cerebral lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggesting PRES. The patient was diagnosed with SLE during the etiological investigation of PRES. In this article, we aimed to emphasize that PRES as an initial presentation of SLE.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Change of therapeutic algorithm in sclerosis multiplex based on two case reports]

BIERNACKI Tamás, BENCSIK Krisztina, KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás, SANDI Dániel, FRICSKA-NAGY Zsanett, FARAGÓ Péter, VÉCSEI László

[The aim of our case reports is to demonstrate the therapeutic use and possibilities one has with alemtuzumab, should it be used either as a first or second line therapy. Our first patient's disease in the beginning seemed to be benign. It was not the case however, over several years the diesase showed high activity both radiologically and clinically, she was treated with alemtuzumab as part of an esclationbased therapeutic strategy. The second patient's disease on the other hand showed formidable activity since the very beginning both radiologically and clinically. Therefore we were facing a very disastrous prognosis on the long run, accordingly he received alemtuzumab treatment very early into his illness.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Validation of the Hungarian version of Carlson’s Work-Family Conflict Scale


Background and purpose - Work-family conflict has been associated with adverse individual (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, anxiety disorders), organizational (e.g., absenteeism, lower productivity), and societal outcomes (e.g., increased use of healthcare services). However, lack of standardized measurement has hindered the comparison of data across various cultures. The purpose of this study was to develop the Hungarian version of Carlson et al.’s multidimensional Work-Family Conflict Scale and establish its reliability and validity. Methods - In a sample of 557 employees (145 men and 412 women), we conducted confirmatory factor analysis to investigate the factor structure and factorial invariance of the instrument across sex and data collection points and evaluated the tool's validity by assessing relationships between its dimensions and scales measuring general, marital, and job-related stress, depressive symptomatology, vital exhaustion, functional somatic symptoms, and social support. Results - Our results showed that a six-factor model, similarly to that of the original instrument, fit the data best. Internal consistency of the six dimensions and the whole instrument was adequate. Convergent and divergent validity of the instrument and discriminant validity of the dimensions were also supported by our data. Conclusions - This study provides empirical support for the validity and reliability of the Hungarian version of the multidimensional Work-Family Conflict Scale. Deployment of this measure may allow for the generation of data that can be compared to those obtained in different cultural settings with the same instrument and hence advance our understanding of cross-cultural aspects of work-family conflict.

All articles in the issue

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

Clinical Neuroscience



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[50 years of tolperisone in clinical practice]


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Clinical Neuroscience

[Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: A review of the 2017 revisions of the McDonald criteria]


[The revolutionary progress of research in neuroimmu­nology has led to the introduction of disease modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis at the end of the last century. The International Panel on Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis originally proposed the 2001 McDonald criteria to facilitate the diagnosis of MS in patients with the first objective neurological symptom(s) suggesting demyelinating event, when magnetic resonance imaging is integrated with clinical and other paraclinical diagnostic methods. New terms have been introduced to substitute clinical information by MRI: dissemination in space - indicating a multifocal central demyelinating process and dissemination in time - indicating the development of new CNS lesions over time. The criteria for diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis have continuously evolved, they were modified in 2005 and 2010 allowing for an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of MS over time, and they provided the most up-to-date guidance for clinicians and researchers. The last recommended revisions relied entirely on available evidence, and not on expert opinion thereby reducing the risk of the misdiagnosis. The 2017 McDonald criteria continue to apply primarily to patients experiencing a typical, clinically isolated syndrome. In this review, we provide an overview of the recent 2017 revisions to the criteria of dissemination in space and time with the importance of the presence of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands; keeping fully in mind that there is no better explanation for symptoms than diagnosis of MS. In the future, validation of the 2017 McDonald criteria will be needed in diverse populations. Further investigations are required on the value of new MRI approaches, on optic nerve involvement, on evoked potential and optical coherence tomography, in order to assess their possible contribution to diagnostic criteria.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of body image perception in multiple sclerosis patients without neurological deficit

SENGUL S Hakan, SENGUL Yildizhan, TAK Zeynel Abidin Ali, KOCAK Müge, TUNC Abdulkadir

Objective - There is a lack of research on the association between body image perception (BIP) and multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this study was to evaluate BIP in MS patients and its correlation with depression, anxiety, duration of the disease, and sociodemographic characteristics of the patients. Methods - Fifty patients with MS who applied to our outpatient clinic were examined. Forty-five healthy control were recruited for the study. All patients were diagnosed with MS according to 2010 revisions of McDonald criteria. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) was performed by the same neurologist for all patients. The participants were asked to complete a sociodemographic form, Body Cathexis Scale (BCS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Results - The mean BCS score was 86.54 ± 32.24 in MS patients and 155.00 ± 20.90 in the healthy subjects (p<0.001). While MS patients had significantly higher anxiety levels, depression scores were similar in both groups. The mean BAI score was 18.50 ± 14.03 for MS patients and 10.06 ± 7.96 in the control group (p=0.001). The BDI score of the patients was 13.77 ± 11.61 and 11.91 ± 8.65 for the controls (p=0.34). Early age of the disease onset, increased number of attacks, increased depressive symptoms, and higher anxiety levels were significantly correlated with higher BCS scores. Age and being single/ divorced/ widowed were also correlated with BCS scores. Conclusions - It is important to preserve the mental well-being of patients. Even in apparently healthy patients, the body perception may be severely impaired.