Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan1, KOCAK Müge2, CORAKCI Zeynep3, SENGUL Serdar Hakan4, USTUN Ismet1

MAY 30, 2020

Clinical Neuroscience - 2020;73(05-06)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.73.0199

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Bezmialem Foundation University, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
  2. Department of Neurology, Acibadem Altunizade Hospital, Uskudar, Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Science, Bezmialem Foundation University, Eyup, Istanbul, Turkey
  4. Department of Psychology, Gaziosmanpasa Taksim Research and Training Hospital, Gaziosmanpasa, Istanbul

COMMENTS

0 comments

Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

The etiology and age-related properties of patients with delirium in coronary intensive care unit and its effects on inhospital and follow up prognosis

ALTAY Servet, GÜRDOGAN Muhammet, KAYA Caglar, KARDAS Fatih, ZEYBEY Utku, CAKIR Burcu, EBIK Mustafa, DEMIR Melik

Delirium is a syndrome frequently encountered in intensive care and associated with a poor prognosis. Intensive care delirium is mostly based on general and palliative intensive care data in the literature. In this study, we aimed to investigate the incidence of delirium in coronary intensive care unit (CICU), related factors, its relationship with inhospital and follow up prognosis, incidence of age-related delirium and its effect on outcomes. This study was conducted with patients hospitalized in CICU of a tertiary university hospital between 01 August 2017 and 01 August 2018. Files of all patients were examined in details, and demographic, clinic and laboratory parameters were recorded. Patients confirmed with psychiatry consultation were included in the groups of patients who developed delirium. Patients were divided into groups with and without delirium developed, and baseline features, inhospital and follow up prognoses were investigated. In addition, patients were divided into four groups as <65 years old, 65-75 yo, 75-84 yo and> 85 yo, and the incidence of delirium, related factors and prognoses were compared among these groups. A total of 1108 patients (mean age: 64.4 ± 13.9 years; 66% men) who were followed in the intensive care unit with variable indications were included in the study. Of all patients 11.1% developed delirium in the CICU. Patients who developed delirium were older, comorbidities were more frequent, and these patients showed increased inflammation findings, and significant increase in inhospital mortality compared to those who did not develop delirium (p<0.05). At median 9-month follow up period, rehospitalization, reinfarction, cognitive dysfunction, initiation of psychiatric therapy and mortality were significantly higher in the delirium group (p<0.05). When patients who developed delirium were divided into four groups by age and analyzed, incidence of delirium and mortality rate in delirium group were significantly increased by age (p<0.05). Development of delirium in coronary intensive care unit is associated with increased inhospital and follow up morbidity and mortality. Delirium is more commonly seen in geriatric patients and those with comorbidity, and is associated with a poorer prognosis. High-risk patients should be more carefully monitored for the risk of delirium.

Clinical Neuroscience

Autonomic nervous system may be affected after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery: A possible mechanism for persistence of symptoms after surgery

ONDER Burcu, KELES Yavuz Betul

After carpal tunnel surgery, some patients report complaints such as edema, pain, and numbness. Purpose – The aim of this study was to evaluate autonomic nervous system function in patients with a history of carpal tunnel surgery using sympathetic skin response (SSR). Thirty three patients (55 ±10 years old) with a history of unilateral operation for carpal tunnel syndrome were included in the study. The SSR test was performed for both hands. Both upper extremities median and ulnar nerve conduction results were recorded. A reduced amplitude (p=0.006) and delayed latency (p<0.0001) were detected in the SSR test on the operated side compared to contralateral side. There was no correlation between SSR and carpal tunnel syndrome severity. Although complex regional pain syndrome does not develop in patients after carpal tunnel surgery, some of the complaints may be caused by effects on the autonomic nervous system.

Clinical Neuroscience

Simultaneous subdural, subarachnoideal and intracerebral hAemorrhage after rupture of a peripheral middle cerebral artery aneurysm

BÉRES-MOLNÁR Anna Katalin, FOLYOVICH András, SZLOBODA Péter, SZENDREY-KISS Zsolt, BERECZKI Dániel, BAKOS Mária, VÁRALLYAY György, SZABÓ Huba, NYÁRI István

The cause of intracerebral, subarachnoid and subdural haemorrhage is different, and the simultaneous appearance in the same case is extremely rare. We describe the case of a patient with a ruptured aneurysm on the distal segment of the middle cerebral artery, with a concomitant subdural and intracerebral haemorrhage, and a subsequent secondary brainstem (Duret) haemorrhage. The 59-year-old woman had hypertension and diabetes in her medical history. She experienced anomic aphasia and left-sided headache starting one day before admission. She had no trauma. A few minutes after admission she suddenly became comatose, her breathing became superficial. Non-contrast CT revealed left sided fronto-parietal subdural and subarachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage, and bleeding was also observed in the right pontine region. The patient had leucocytosis and hyperglycemia but normal hemostasis. After the subdural haemorrhage had been evacuated, the patient was transferred to intensive care unit. Sepsis developed. Echocardiography did not detect endocarditis. Neurological status, vigilance gradually improved. The rehabilitation process was interrupted by epileptic status. Control CT and CT angiography proved an aneurysm in the peripheral part of the left middle cerebral artery, which was later clipped. Histolo­gical examination excluded mycotic etiology of the aneu­rysm and “normal aneurysm wall” was described. The brain stem haemorrhage – Duret bleeding – was presumably caused by a sudden increase in intracranial pressure due to the supratentorial space occupying process and consequential trans-tentorial herniation. This case is a rarity, as the patient not only survived, but lives an active life with some residual symptoms.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The long-term follow-up of enzyme replacement treatment in late onset Pompe disease]

MOLNÁR Mária Judit, BORSOS Beáta, VÁRDI Visy Katalin, GROSZ Zoltán, SEBÕK Ágnes, DÉZSI Lívia, ALMÁSSY Zsuzsanna, KERÉNYI Levente, JOBBÁGY Zita, JÁVOR László, BIDLÓ Judit

[Pompe disease (PD) is a rare lysosomal disease caused by the deficient activity of acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) enzyme due to mutations in the GAA gene. The enzymatic deficiency leads to the accumulation of glycogen within the lysosomes. Clinically, the disease has been classically classified in infantile and childhood/adult forms. Presently cc. close to 600 mutations distributed throughout the whole gene have been reported. The c.-32-13T>G splice mutation that is very common in patients of Caucasian origin affected by the childhood/adult form of the disease, with an allelic frequency close to 70%. Enzyme replacement treatment (ERT) is available for the patients with Pompe disease (Myozyme). In this paper, we are presenting the long term follow up of 13 adult onset cases treated more than 5 years. The longest follow up was 15 years. To evaluate the treatment efficacy, the 6 minutes walking test (6MWT) and the respiratory functions were monitored annually. The analysis revealed that at the beginning of ERT for 3-4 years the 6MWT had been generally increasing, then it declined, and after 10 years it was lower in 77% of the cases than it had been at the start of the treatment. In 23% of the cases the 6MWT increased during the follow up time. Only one of the patients become wheelchair dependent during the follow-up period. The respiratory function showed similar results especially in supine position. A high degree of variability was observed among patients in their responses to the treatment, which only partially associated with the antibody titer against the therapeutic protein. The efficacy of the ERT was associated with the type of the disease causing mutation, the baseline status of the disease, the lifestyle and the diet of the patient. The long-term follow up of the patients with innovative orphan drugs is necessary to really understand the value of the treatment and the need of the patients.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[PARALLEL PROCESSING OF VISUAL INFORMATION]

BENEDEK György, JANÁKY Márta, BENEDEK Krisztina, KÉRI Szabolcs

[This is a survey on the function of parallel visual pathway with a special emphasis on its clinical implications. It is based on data in the literature and own results of our group. The paper primarily deals with the X, Y, W pathways and by the magnocellular, parvocellular and koniocellular visual pathways characterized by cells of various size as well as by nerve fibers of various thickness. Electrophysiological, microelectrode recording of single-unit activity makes the distinction between the pathways available in animal modell. Much more difficulties arise if we intend to characterize the pathways in humans or to detect the selective damage of one of these pathways in patients. The non-invasive diagnostic methods that could be used in the diagnosis are detailed here, too. Finally, the neurological, ophtalmological and psychological diseases are discussed in which a selective damage of any visual pathway is suspected. Summing it up, the survey provides evidences for the introduction of the novel concept of parallel pathways into the diagnostic aspects of ophthalmology, neurology and psychiatry.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of sleep in the implicit learning processes]

CSÁBI Eszter, NÉMETH Dezsõ

[The role of sleep in different memory processes is debated. Probably it plays an active role in the memory consolidation or possibly it prevents forgetting by protecting against interference or it makes the memory performance more efficient by facilitating the forgetting. The beneficial effect of sleep in explicit memory is well demonstrated, while the role of sleep in implicit mechanisms has not been comprehensively characterized so far. There are several factors which affect the appearance of sleep effect, such as the structure, the length and the complexity of sequence being used, the awareness of the sequence, the length of the learning blocks and the offline period. Besides the classical sleep deprivation methods with healthy participants, examining patients with sleep disorders could be a new method of the investigation of the sleep effect which enables us to enrich our knowledge not only about the sleep-dependent memory consolidation but also the cognitive dysfunction related to sleep pathologies. This new line of research can help the development of more effective rehabilitation programs.]

Clinical Neuroscience

A clinical study of an online educational programme for chronic pain patients

GALAMBOS Wellingerné Krisztina, SZOK Délia, CSABAI Márta

Background - The research of alexithymia - the inability to express or understand emotions - has recently become of great importance in clinical practice, mainly in the field of doctor-patient and psychologist patient communication. Many studies have proven the correlation between alexithymia and the development of functional somatic symptoms, i.e. somatization. Purpose - The aim of this clinical study was to examine the emotion-recognition and emotion communication patterns of patients suffering from chronic pain (e.g., headache, low back pain, arthralgia, neuropathy). Moreover, the participants received access to the Hungarian adaptation of a new international online educational site (www.retrainpain.org) dealing with pain management. Methods - Data were collected from the Headache and Chronic Pain Outpatient Clinic, Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Hungary (tertiary care - Group 1) and from a general practice in district 2, Budapest, Hungary (primary care - Group 2) from March, 2017 to April, 2018. Patients received a test package containing a pain-specific questionnaire, then the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and the shortened Hungarian version of the WHO-Well-being (WBI-5) had to be completed. After filling out the questionnaires, all patients got access to the Hungarian adaptation of the www.retrainpain.org website. Results - Altogether 92 patients participated in the study (Group 1 n=50; Group 2 n=42). Based on the TAS-20 re­sults, 35 patients reached a pathological score (≥60 points), which indicates the diagnosis of alexithymia. The mean TAS-score was lower in Group 2 (primary care) than in Group 1 (tertiary care) (p=0.003). The DERS disclosed pathological results in 19 cases (p=0.009). As regards the www.retrainpain.org chapters, we received feedback only from 25 out of 92 patients (27%) (Group 1 n=20; Group 2 n=5). Conclusions - Although the examined patients have been suffering from different chronic pain syndromes for years and 50% of them confirmed that symptoms placed at least moderate or heavy burden on their everyday life, the available educational programme was studied only by a smaller proportion of patients than expected. Additionally, those who surveyed the Hungarian adaptation of the www.retrainpain.org website were mainly patients from primary care (Group 2), in spite of the fact that patients from specialized medical care (Group 1) had worse subjective conditions. Our future objective is to extend our database with follow-up results and to improve patients’ response willingness.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Psychosis as a process - New implications of staging models of schizophrenia]

HALMAI Tamás, TÉNYI Tamás

[The article discusses contributing factors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. In the last fifteen years, the emphasis has shifted from curative to prodromal and premorbid characteristics of later schizophrenia patients. Nevertheless, most studies are limited to the area of early detection and intervention of schizophrenia with much fewer focusing on actual prevention. A more general preventive approach not limited to psychotic condition is clearly underestimated. Following a review of current literature on prodromal approaches and identified premorbid markers of schizophrenia, the article outlines a possible trajectory of later psychotic condition with detectable, distinct stages from birth on. Based on this extended staging model involving neurotoxic impact and early prefrontal-limbic dysfunction, it argues for a refined, phase-specific treatment protocol including preventive interventions. Accepting a model of schizophrenia as an illness with detectable, phase-specific signs and symptoms from infancy on leads to the need to implement preventive interventions. Through this approach, we could, in the optimal case, be able to identify early signs of neuromotoric and cognitive dysfunction not specific for psychosis. Furthermore, it would be useful to lay greater emphasis on the detection of these early signs in the training of health care professionals. This approach calls for a close cooperation between psychologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and special education experts and a change in the way we view psychotic illness.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Hypertension and brain function. Correlation of high blood pressure and demencia in aging. Hypertension in young-middle adults - demencia in elderly]

SZÉKÁCS Béla, KÉKES Ede

[The cerebral vascular damage caused by hypertension is manifested primarily in cognitive dysfunction, which is caused by hypoperfusion of brain tissue, ischemic, or bleeding stroke, or white matte injury. Hypertension may not only result in cerebral damage to the vascular background - dementia -, but may also contribute to the development and progression of classical gene-related Alzheimer’s disease. Blood pressure gradually increases in the elderly and in the very elderly, and the frequency of hypertension-mostly as isolated systolic hypertension - is 50% to 70%. High blood pressure predominately, or in full, means not only an increase in the circulatory resistance of the small children, but also, as part of the aging of the body, the rigidity (stiffness) of the arteries. At the same time, the incidence of dementia, along with age, rises sharply - up to 20% in those over 65 years of age, and over 40% in 80-90 years of age. The relationship between high blood pressure and dementia from the young age to the very old age may change as a function of current age. In the very old age of life, the varying influence of other pathological factors other than hypertension is becoming more and more important in the deterioration of both the vascular structure and the brain function. In this late stage of life, the very advanced rate of aging and nutritive blood flow often require higher perfusion pressure, and the not enough thought-out blood pressure reduction can be more damaging than a protective effect on brain condition or function. SPRINT MIND - the Intense Blood Pressure Reduction - hasn’t resolved the question, and we can legally assume that the 130-140 Hgmm SBP. Is the most favorable for dementia. The value of DBP 70 Hgmm is definitely unfavorable.]