Clinical Neuroscience

[Anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis: description of the syndrome in line with presentation of the first Hungarian patient]

HOLLÓDY Katalin, CSÁBI Györgyi, LÁNG Anikó, RÓZSAI Barnabás, KOMÁROMY Hedvig, BORS László, ILLÉS Zsolt

MARCH 20, 2011

Clinical Neuroscience - 2011;64(03-04)

[In the majority of cases, anti-NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor encephalitis is a severe, but treatable disorder, therefore early diagnosis and adequate therapy are very important. It should be suspected in children and young women, who develop acute psychiatric symptoms and seizures. During the course of the disease severe encephalopathy, agitation, hallucinations, orofacial dyskinesias, prolonged cognitive disturbance, autonomic symptoms can be observed and akinetic mutism develops. EEG shows diffuse slowing. Brain MRI is normal or unspecific. Elevated protein, pleiocytosis and oligoclonal bands can be present in the CSF. Detection of NMDA-receptor antibodies in sera or CSF confirms diagnosis. We present the case of a 15-year old girl, who fully recovered within two months after steroid treatment and repeated plasma exchange. Ovarian teratoma has not been detected.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Interdisciplinary approach of vestibular system impairment]

PONGRÁCZ Endre

[In the first part of this review the definition of vertigo/dizziness was discussed. The major difference between the two signs is the exsistence of the direction, which is specific for vertigo. Dizziness is a frequent complaint in the clinical practice. Its frequency is increasing with advance of age, to intimate the play of declining cognitive process in the pathogenesis of its. The popular health significance of vertigo is in the rowing number of the patients. The onset of the most cases with acute vertigo appears between secundums and minutes so the patients will be provided in circumstances of emergency department. First of all three form schould be take into account: neuronitis vestibularis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere syndrome. Without tipical periferal signs of vertigo, central cause should be searched, principally stroke (lysis possibility). The differential diagnose of the different dizzeness/vertigo forms according to the elapsed time of the onset or congenital and acquired nystagmus was created in tables. The recommendations of the therapy of acute and chronic dizziness/ vertigo syndroms are, lack of results of evidence based trials doubtful. The more often used drugs based on clinical trials are discussed as vinpocetine, betahistine and piracetam. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the last molecule is eligible to use both in periferal and central type of vertigo syndroms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Epilepsy in the elderly]

NIKL János

[The incidence of epilepsy is higher among the elderly, the most rapidly growing segment of the population, than in any other age group. New-onset seizures in elderly patients are typically symptomatic or cryptogenic partial seizures that require long-term treatment. Epilepsy in the elderly is a frequently occuring pathology, differing in etiology, clinical presentation and prognosis from those of young people. Establishing the diagnosis of epilepsy in old age can be more difficult than in younger patients due to the extensive range of differential diagnoses and a higher prevalence of concomitant disease. Beyond a certain age physiological and pathophysiological changes can affect the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antiepileptic drugs(AEDs), increasing the risk of pharmacological interactions due to polypharmacy. Furthermore, the elderly people are sensitive to advers events of AEDs, as for example, to cognitive disturbances, osteoporosis. Several of newer AEDs have good safety and cognitive effect profiles and have no interactions with other drugs. The treatment strategies are demanding: they must take into consideration the co-morbidity, co-medication, alterations in drug metabolism, and the effects on aging body. These factors make the management of epilepsy in the elderly particulary challenging, but with appropiate pharmacological treatment most elderly people with epilepsy will remain seizurefree.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[CADASIL and other hereditary small vessel diseases of the brain - Increasingly diagnosed conditions underlying familial ischaemic stroke and dementia]

GUNDA Bence, HUGUES Chabriat, BERECZKI Dániel

[CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy) has recently gained great interest in vascular neurology as the most common heritable cause of stroke and vascular dementia in adults. This autosomal dominant small vessel disease of the brain - unlike the sporadic, hypertensive form - appears already in adult midlife in the absence of vascular risk factors with ischemic episodes and progressive dementia, its first manifestation can be migraine with aura, and is often associated with psychiatric disturbances. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes showing a characteristic pattern may precede symptoms by more than a decade. The identification of the mautation of the NOTCH 3 gene responsible for the disorder encoding a transmembrane receptor of vascular smooth muscle cells - has given great impetus on research to understand the molecular and vascular pathogenesis of the disease. The special importance of this latter lies in the fact that CADASIL provides a pure genetic model for subcortical cerebral ischemia and vascular dementia without the confounding factors of comorbidities and advanced age. Thus insights into CADASIL may help us better understand the more common sporadic forms as well. Moreover CADASIL is one of the best studied examples of secondary migraine. Currently we have far less knowledge on other forms of hereditary small vessel disease of the brain such as CARASIL, HERNS, CRV, HVR, PXE etc. Neurologists are becoming more and more familiar with CADASIL, and with the wider availability of MRI it is increasingly diagnosed. However the disorder is still probably underrecognised. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge on CADASIL with special emphasis on diagnostic and diffrential diagnostic points for the practising neurologist.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EEG source localization using LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography)]

PUSKÁS Szilvia

[Electroencephalography (EEG) has excellent temporal resolution, but the spatial resolution is poor. Different source localization methods exist to solve the so-called inverse problem, thus increasing the accuracy of spatial localization. This paper provides an overview of the history of source localization and the main categories of techniques are discussed. LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography) is introduced in details: technical informations are discussed and localization properties of LORETA method are compared to other inverse solutions. Validation of the method with different imaging techniques is also discussed. This paper reviews several publications using LORETA both in healthy persons and persons with different neurological and psychiatric diseases. Finally future possible applications are discussed.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Account on the celebration of Dr. Schaffer Károly Prize]

[Account on the celebration of Dr. Schaffer Károly Prize 2011;64(03-04)]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio

YASAR Altun, ERDOGAN Yasar

Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Management of bone metabolism in epilepsy

UÇAN TOKUÇ Ezgi Firdevs , FATMA Genç, ABIDIN Erdal, YASEMIN Biçer Gömceli

Many systemic problems arise due to the side effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) used in epilepsy patients. Among these adverse effects are low bone mineral density and increased fracture risk due to long-term AED use. Although various studies have supported this association with increased risk in recent years, the length of this process has not been precisely defined and there is no clear consensus on bone density scanning, intervals of screening, and the subject of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. In this study, in accordance with the most current recommendations, our applications and data, including the detection of possible bone mineralization disorders, treatment methods, and recommendations to prevent bone mineralization disorders, were evaluated in epilepsy patients who were followed up at our outpatient clinic. It was aimed to draw attention to the significance of management of bone metabolism carried out with appropriate protocols. Epilepsy patients were followed up at the Antalya Training and Research Hospital Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Outpatient Clinic who were at high risk for osteoporosis (use of valproic acid [VPA] and enzyme-inducing drugs, using any AED for over 5 years, and postmenopausal women) and were evaluated using a screening protocol. According to this protocol, a total of 190 patients suspected of osteoporosis risk were retrospectively evaluated. Four patients were excluded from the study due to secondary osteoporosis. Of the 186 patients who were included in the study, 97 (52.2%) were women and 89 (47.8%) were men. Prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) was 42%, in which osteoporosis was detected in 11.8% and osteopenia in 30.6% of the patients. Osteoporosis rate was higher at the young age group (18-45) and this difference was statistically significant (p=0.018). There was no significant difference between male and female sexes according to osteoporosis and osteopenia rates. Patients receiving polytherapy had higher osteoporosis rate and lower BMD compared to patients receiving monotherapy. Comparison of separate drug groups according to osteoporosis rate revealed that osteoporosis rate was highest in patient groups using VPA+ carbamazepine (CBZ) (29.4%) and VPA polytherapy (19.4%). Total of osteopenia and osteoporosis, or low BMD, was highest in VPA polytherapy (VPA+ non-enzyme-inducing AED [NEID]) and CBZ polytherapy (CBZ+NEID) groups, with rates of 58.3% and 55.1%, respectively. In addition, there was no significant difference between drug groups according to bone metabolism markers, vitamin D levels, and osteopenia-osteoporosis rates. Assuming bone health will be affected at an early age in epilepsy patients, providing lifestyle and diet recommendations, avoiding polytherapy including VPA and CBZ when possible, and evaluating bone metabolism at regular intervals are actions that should be applied in routine practice.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Personalised epilepsy treatment]

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[Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disease in childhood. Patients with epilepsy – even with so-called benign epilepsy – need medication for years. During this time, children go through a very big change, not only gaining weight and height, but also changing hormonal and metabolic processes. Maturation processes in different brain areas also take place at different rates depending on age. All of these should be considered when preparing a therapeutic plan. In everyday practice after the diagnosis of epilepsy, the applied drug is most often selected based on the shape and type of seizure. However, a number of other factors need to be considered when designing a therapeutic strategy: 1. efficacy (form of epilepsy, type of seizure), 2. age, gender, 3. pharmacological properties of the drug, 4. adverse drug reaction profile, 5. lifestyle (community), figure (skinny, corpulent, obese), 6. other comorbidities (nutrition, behavioral and learning problems, circulatory disorders, kidney or liver disease), 7. expected interactions with other drugs already used, 8. genetics, 9. other aspects (drug registration and prescription rules). The purpose of this article is to help to decide which antiepileptic drugs are expected to have the least side effects in a particular child with different comorbidities and which medications should be avoided if possible.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Epilepsy in coronavirus pandemic]

SZŰCS Anna, HALÁSZ Péter, NARULA Lalit

[We aim to review the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on epilepsy and epilepsy-care. While the virus has no specific link with epilepsy, it may affect the nervous system both directly and indirectly, leading to seizures in several ways. The hyper-coagulable state occurring with the infection may cause strokes leading to seizures. The infection may first manifest in the form of disturbances of consciousness and behaviour, seizures, and even status epilepticus. The interactions of antiviral/antiepileptic drugs need to be taken into account during treatment. The hypercoagulable state induced by COVID-2 infection may cause stroke, which leads to seizures. The infection can occur also as an impaired consciousness of non-epileptic origin. Interactions of antiviral/antiepileptic drugs have also to be taken into account. The pandemic itself as well as quarantines and social distancing may cause anxiety and insomnia, challenge continuous antiepileptic supply; each one carrying the risk of seizing. Young epilepsy patients with learning disabilities and mental health issues are most vulnerable, justifying their hyper-protection. The danger of infection has highlighted the role of telemedicine. Internet-based video communication may ensure full care for chro­nic patients. Those methods favour bes­­ted patients with higher education. Epilepsy does not increase directly the risk of infection, but its comorbidities may worsen the course of the disease. Brain lesions and hypoxia, stress, insomnia and fever joining the infection increase seizure susceptibility. Because the danger of infection ma­de telemedicine an essential tool of pa­tient care, education and better computer supply for those in need is crucial. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of zonisamide in the treatment of women with epilepsy]

JUHOS Vera

[The antiepileptic drugs can effect fertility, development of gynecological diseases and occurence of sexual problems. They can cause a number of “cosmetic” problem and also influence the selection of safe contraceptive method. Many antiepileptic drugs can cause congenital malformations or affect the new-born child’s psychomotor and cognitive development, therefore during pregnancy should be treated with extreme caution in women with epilepsy. Most types of epilepsies accompany the patient through their whole life. Women spend almost the third of their lives after menopause and - due to the formation of associated diseases as well - this period is also special. According to the 2013 recommendation of International League Epilepsy (ILAE), zonisamide is one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy. In my review I discuss women’s epilepsy in the viewpoint of the application of zonisamid. ]