Clinical Neuroscience

[AMYOTROPHIC LATERALSCLEROSIS IN COUNTY BARANYA, HUNGARY]

MERKLI Hajnalka, NAGY Ferenc, PÁL Endre, GÁTI István, KOVÁCS Norbert, KOMOLY Sámuel, ILLÉS Zsolt

NOVEMBER 30, 2006

Clinical Neuroscience - 2006;59(11-12)

[Amyotrophic lateralsclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease resulting in loss of upper and lower motoneurons. Here we analyzed the clinical and epidemiological data of 202 ALS patients admitted to our department between 1950 and 2004. Risk and protective factors influencing onset and progression of the disease were examined. We also analyzed the relationship between first clinical symptoms/signs and prognosis of the disease. Our data suggest the importance of toxic factors in the initiation of the disease and the effect of clinical phenotype on the progression of ALS.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[THORACIC MENINGOCELE]

FEKETE Tamás Fülöp, VERES Róbert, NYÁRY István

[Herniation of the meninges through a defect of the spinal canal is a spinal meningocele, and is usually located dorsally in the lumbosacral region. Meningoceles are usually part of a complex developmental disorder, or of a systemic disease, or it can be iatrogenic, as well. We report a very rare case of a true anterior thoracic meningocele.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[THE ROLE OF TREMOROMETRY IN PREDICTING THE OUTCOME OF ABLATIVE SURGERIES]

KOVÁCS Norbert, BALÁS István, ILLÉS Zsolt, KELLÉNYI Lóránt, NAGY Ferenc

[Ablative neurosurgical interventions are widely used for the treatment of advanced Parkinson's disease. However, in some cases, the achieved result is temporary and repeat operation is necessary to obtain a permanent effect. By analyzing 30 ablative surgeries using comparative accelerometry, we looked for a biological marker predicting the efficiency. In 27 cases where clinical symptoms were permanently improved, a significant increase in rest tremor frequency was observed in addition to reduction in tremor intensity. In contrast, in those three cases where the clinical effect of the surgery was only temporary, the frequency of tremor remained unchanged despite of the transitory decrease in intensity. We thus hypothesize that postoperative change in frequency of tremor but not the intensity may predict the outcome of ablative treatments.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[THE MODULATORY EFFECT OF ESTROGEN ON THE CAUDAL TRIGEMINAL NUCLEUS OF THE RAT IN AN ANIMAL MODEL OF MIGRAINE]

VARGA Hedvig, PÁRDUTZ Árpád, TAJTI János, VÉCSEI László, JEAN Schoenen

[Migraine is one of the most common neurological disorder affecting up to 14% of the population. The disease shows sexual dimorphism, thus gonadal steroids may play an important role in its patophysiology. One model of migraine headache is the systemic administration of nitric oxide (NO) donor nitroglycerin (NTG), which triggers a delayed attack without aura in many migraine patients but not in healthy volunteers. NTG is also able to activate the neurons of the caudal trigeminal nucleus in the rat. In our review we summarise the effect of NTG on the expression of some molecules, in the superficial laminae of the spinal portion of trigeminal nucleus caudalis, which play an important role in the pathomechanism of headaches, and the modulatory effect of chronic estradiol treatment. Our data show that NTG was able to modify all the examined substances in the caudal trigeminal nucleus, while chronic estradiol treatment abolished this effect. These data may help to understand the mechanisms by which estrogens influence trigeminal nociception and how nitric oxide triggers migraine attacks.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EPIDEMIOLOGY OF STROKE IN THE ELDERLY]

POZSEGOVITS Krisztián, KAZUO Suzuki, NAGY Zoltán

[Background - In the industrialized countries the very elderly stroke patient is more frequent than before. For the time being Japanese people have the highest expected lifespan, so the epidemiological features of stroke in the very elderly can be examined here quite easily. From a few publications with low case number it is known that in this group of patients the statistical characteristics of stroke is remarkably different from the youngers' one. Subjects and methods - The subjects aged 85 or more years were selected from the Akita Stroke Registry with first-ever acute stroke from 1996 to 1998. Results - 8,046 cases were recorded. There were 7362 patients aged <85 years, and 684 patients aged ≥85 years (8.5%). Sex ratio (women/men) was 1.89 in the two age groups. In the population of Akita the crude incidence of firstever stroke was 222/100,000/year, and 1,085/100,000/year in the very elderly, who were characterized with relatively lower prevalence of stroke risk factors, except that of atrial fibrillation (26.9%) and cardiac diseases (34.2%). The stroke subtype distribution (cerebral infarction 73.2%, intracerebral haemorrhage 20.6%, subarachnoidal haemorrhage 6.1%) was significantly different from the one known in Japan. Mortality rates were considerably high, especially in the SAH group. The most powerful prognostic factor of death was the consciousness level at onset. The following in order of predicting value was the SAH stroke subtype. Conclusion - While people aged 85 years or more had relatively lower prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, they suffered stroke with very high frequency, the evolved cerebrovascular event caused very severe symptoms and led to death with high rate. Implicitly this is illuminating the complexity of aging as a procession, furthermore it raises the importance of prevention, more rather of the acute stroke care and rehabilitation in this high age group.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[CLINICAL ANALYSIS OF PATIENTS WITH PERIPHERAL FACIAL PALSY]

ILNICZKY Sándor

[symptoms. In two thirds of the cases the cause is unknown, this is called “idiopathic peripheral facial palsy or Bell’s palsy”, but several different diseases have to be considered in the differential diagnosis. In this paper we reviewed the case histories of 110 patients treated for “peripheral facial palsy” in the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University, Budapest in a five year period, 2000-2004. We studied the age, gender distribution, seasonal occurance, comorbidities, sidedness, symptoms, circumstances of referral to the hospital, the initial diagnoses and therapeutic options. We also discuss the probable causes and consequences of diagnostic failures. Results: the proportion of males and females was equal. There was no considerable difference between sexes regarding agedistribution. Of the 110 patients 106 was diagnosed with idiopathic Bell’s palsy, three cases with otic herpes zoster and one patient with Lyme disease. In our material, peripheral facial palsy was significantly more frequent in the cold period of late autumn, winter, and early spring. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension were more frequent than in the general population. 74% of the patients were admitted within two days from the onset of the symptoms. In 37% preliminary diagnosis was unavailable. In 15% cerebrovascular insult was the first, incorrect diagnosis, the correct diagnosis of “Bell’s palsy” was provided only in 16%. The probable causes of diagnostic failures may be the misleading symptoms and accompanying conditions. We examined the different therapies applied and reviewed the literature in this topic. We conclude that intravenous corticosteroid treatment in the early stage of the disease is the therapy of choice.]

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[The authors are focusing on a special type of long term psychiatric care taking place in Hungary outside of the conventional mental health care system, by introducing some institutional aspects of the not well known world of so called social homes for psychiatric patients (asylums). After reviewing several caracteristics of institutional development of psychiatric care in Hun­gary based on selected Hungarian and in­ternational historical sources, the main struc­tural data of present Hungarian institutional capacities of psychiatric health and social care services are shown. Finally, the authors based on own personal experiences describe several functional ascpects of the largest existing asylum in EU, a so­cial home for long term care of psychiatric pa­tients. By the beginning of the 20th century, Hungarian psychiatric institutions were operating on an infrastructure of three large mental hospitals standing alone and several psychiatric wards incorporated into hospitals. Nevertheless, at the very first session of the Psychiatrists’ Conference held in 1900 many professionals gave warning: mental institutions were overcrowded and the quality of care provided in psychiatric hospital wards, many of which located in the countryside of Hungary, in most cases was far from what would have been professionally acceptable. The solution was seen in the building of new independent mental hospitals and the introduction of a family nursing institution already established in Western Europe; only the latter measure was implemented in the first half of the 20th century but with great success. However, as a result of the socio-political-economic-ideological turn following the Second World War, the institution of family nursing was dismantled while different types of psychiatric care facilities were developed, such as institutionalised hospital and outpatient care. In the meantime, a new type of institution emerged in the 1950s: the social home for psychiatric pa­tients, which provided care for approximately the same number of chronic psychiatric patients nationwide as the number of functioning hospital beds for acute psychiatric patients. This have not changed significantly since, while so­cial homes for psychiatric patients are perhaps less visible to the professional and lay public nowadays, altough their operational conditions are deteriorating of late years. Data show, that for historical reasons the current sys­tem of inpatient psychiatric care is proportionately arranged between health care and social care institutions; each covering one third. Further research is needed to fully explore and understand the current challenges that the system of psychiatric care social- and health care institu­tions are facing. An in-depth analysis would significantly contribute to the comprehensive improvement of the quality of services and the quality of lives of patients, their relatives and the health- and social care professionals who support them. ]

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[INTRODUCTION - In the social vulnerability model the concept of Life Events is the measure of forces and life events presenting in the social field that makes someone susceptible to mental illnesses. The stress value of these events add up. The Life Events Scale by Paykel is a questionnaire used in international practice. The objective of this study is the Hungarian adaptation and introduction of the Life Events Scale in the national practice, the international comparison of our results, the comparison of healthy people with the patient population and the analysis by social data. PATIENTS AND METHOD - The questionnaires were filled in by both healthy people and different patient populations. The participants rated the life events between 0-7 points according to their degree of causing stress, then they indicated whether it had happened with them. This was followed by a questionnaire about social data. We separated question groups by factor analysis: losses, changes, failures, difficulties, joyful events. RESULTS - When making the international comparison we only found differences in two areas: becoming unemployed and infidelity/divorce. Young people scored losses higher, while older ones scored changes higher. Those who declared themselves as religious scored suicide attempts higher. The mean scores of patient populations were higher compared to healthy subjects. The number of life events occurred was the highest in the depression-suicide attempt group. CONCLUSION - Our results can be used in everyday clinical practice and may be extremely important in suicide prevention.]