Clinical Neuroscience

[Assessment of health related quality of life among epileptic patients in the context of coping strategies and subjective disease perception]

KOVÁTS Daniella, CSÁSZÁR-NAGY Noémi, JUHOS Vera, SALLAY Viola, BÉKÉS Judit, FABÓ Dániel, KELEMEN Anna, KURIMAY Tamás

MAY 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(05-06)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.71.0184

[Purpose – Psychosocial condition and life quality of epileptic patients are greatly determined by the existence of the disease-related comorbid disorders, like depression, anxiety, and the subjective disease perception, as well as the neuropsychological consequences of the seizures. (Whitehead et al. 2015; Goldstein et al. 2005). It has been examined in patients living with epilepsy how subjective disease perception and coping strategies influence life quality, comorbid depression and the condition of anxiety. Methods – Study patients were asked to fill in a self-completion questionnaire, which examined their psychosocial condition (HADS, Beck Depression Scale), life quality (Qolie-31), coping strategies (FKV-LIS), and subjective disease perception (IPQ-R), as well as sociodemographic and disease variables. The subjects of the study: the data of epileptic patients between the age of 18 to 70 was recorded. Patients were selected from the adult outpatients of a national centre, a regional hospital and two private health care centres located in Budapest. Results – Based on the multiple regression analysis. Beck’s depression (b coefficient=-0.351, t=-4.703, p<0.001**). Depressive coping strategy (FKV Dep) (b coefficient = -0.235, t=-3.123, p=0.002**). Subjective health perception (b coefficient =0.232. t=3.643, p<0.001**). Sex (women; b coefficient =-0.162, t=-3.008, p=0.003**). IPQ consequences (b coefficient =-0.161, t=-2.572, p=0.012*). Active coping strategy (FKV Act; b coefficient =0.146, t=2.572, p=0.012*). Type of seizure (b coefficient =-0.138, t=-2.527, p=0.013*), and Sleep quality (b coefficient =-0.125, t=-1.995, p=0.049) explain some 75.6% of the variance of life quality’s total score (model3: F=33.333, p<0.001**. adjusted R2=0.733). Conclusions – Among the factors of the subjective disease perception (IPQ-R), the physical, mental and social consequences play the most important role. Similarly, the impact of negative emotional representation, as well as the erratic nature of the seizures are decisive. Emotional representation, cyclicity and disease coherence have an important role in coping with disease-related negative emotions. ]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Retrospective comparison of efficacy of levetiracetam and lacosamide add-on treatments in patients with partial onset seizure

ACAR Türkan, ARAS Guzey Yesim

Objective - The study aims to retrospectively compare the efficacy of lacosamide (LCS) and levetiracetam (LEV) in add-on treatment in patients with partial-onset epilepsy. Material and method - Patients who have been followed-up for at least one year due to diagnosis of partial epilepsy between September 2014 and December 2017 and who had no seizure control, despite using at least two antiepileptic monotherapies, and therefore undergone LEV or LCS add-on treatment were retrospectively reviewed. Of the patients, total number of seizures and seizure control rates 6 months before and 3 and 6 months after the add-on treatment were compared. Results - There was no statistically significant difference between the 30 patients in the LEV group (12 females, 18 males, mean age 29.7±6.6) and 28 patients in the LCS group (12 females, 16 males, mean age 28.2±6.4) in terms of age, gender and the duration of illness. When the LEV and LCS groups were evaluated separately, the mean number of seizures within 3 and 6 months after the add- on treatment were significantly lower than the mean number of seizures in the last 6 months before the add-on treatment (p<0.005 and p<0.005 respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups when compared with each other in terms of the rate of decrease in number of seizures and seizure control before and after the add-on treatment (p=0.445 and p=0.238, respectively). Conclusion - LCS appears to be as effective as the currently well-established LEV in the treatment of partial onset seizures. No comparative study was found in the literature similar to this subject matter. There is a need for prospective studies for the comparison of the efficacies of these two drugs.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment of insomnias with regard to sleep medicine]

FALUDI Béla, ROZGONYI Renáta

[Insomnia - one of the most prevalent sleep complain - has a great impact on the everyday life. Basically two different form of insomnia can be defined: the insomnia disorder and the co-morbid insomnias. To treat adequately determination of background pathology is essential, which is based on the help of Sleep Medicine Centers. According to the newest guidelines, the treatment of insomnia disorder is based on cognitive behavioural therapies followed by pharmaceutical intervention. In this review we provide the short description of cognitive behavioural therapies and basic principles of hypnotic drugs. Despite the availability of insomnia guidelines the huge variation of the insomnia medication can be seen in the daily practice. Due to the above mentioned reasons we summarize the good clinical practice of hypnotic drug administration for insomnia patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of ischemic stroke patients with systemic cancer

UFUK Emre, TASKIN Gunes, IREM Pinar, FURUZAN Kokturk, ESENGUL Liman, ORHAN Yağiz

Purpose - In cancer patients, an ischemic stroke can be seen as both a direct effect of cancer and a complication of treatment. This condition can negatively affect the follow-up and treatment of these patients. For this research, we aimed to evaluate the clinical features, stroke types and etiological features of ischemic stroke patients with histories of cancer or found to have cancer during the aetiological investigation. Materials and methods - We retrospectively evaluated 100 patients (57 males, 43 females) who were hospitalized with acute stroke and determined to have the presence of cancer or a cancer history during the aetiological investigation between 2011 and 2016. All the demographic features, stroke types and localizations, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores, Rankin Scale scores, durations of cancer and cancer treatments were recorded. Results - The mean age of the patients was 67.07 ± 10.9 years old, the median NIHSS score was 5, and the median Rankin Scale score was 4. While 79% of patients had ischemic stroke risk factors, 21% did not. Atherosclerotic stroke was the most common stroke type (49%, n=49) and cryptogenic strokes were detected in 21% (n=21). In addition, 63% of the patients had chronic cancer (later than 6 months), 31% of the patients had recent cancer histories (less than 6 months), and 29% of the patients had metastases. Among all the malignancies, lung cancer (n=23), gastrointestinal cancer (n=20) and gynaecological-breast cancer (n=16) were the three most common. Moreover, 37% of the patients underwent chemotherapy, 29% underwent radiotherapy, and 88% of the patients had Carotid/Vertebral Doppler USG abnormalities. Conclusion - Similar to what is stated in the literature, an atherosclerotic stroke was the most common type of stroke in the cancer patients. Stroke risk factors were not detected in 21% of the patients, and in the majority of the patients, atherosclerotic changes in the carotid artery were observed in the Doppler examinations. In the aetiology and prognosis of ischemic stroke, it is important to keep in mind the existence of cancer in addition to the classical stroke risk factors.

Clinical Neuroscience

Is stroke indeed a “Monday morning disease”?

FOLYOVICH András, BÉRES-MOLNÁR K Anna, GIMESI-ORSZÁGH Judit, KATONA Lajos, BICZÓ Dávid, VÖRÖS Károly, GŐBL Gábor, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

Introduction - The therapeutic time window of acute stroke is short. Decision on the use of intravenous thrombolysis is based on well-defined criteria. Any delay in the transport to a designated stroke centre decreases the odds of therapeutic success. In Hungary, the admission rate of stroke patients peaks on Monday, the number gradually decreasing by the end of the week. This phenomenon has long been suggested to be due to the lack of emergency care approach. According to the literature, however, returning to work following a holiday is a risk factor for acute stroke. A similar phenomenon is well-known in veterinary medicine, a condition in horses referred to as ‘Monday morning disease’. In our study, we analysed the distribution of admissions due to acute stroke by the day of the week in 4 independent data sources. Patients and methods - The number of patients admitted to the Szent János Hospital, Budapest, Hungary with stroke and that of emergency ambulance transports in the whole city of Budapest due to acute stroke were analysed in the period between January 1 and March 31, 2009. The distribution of thrombolytic interventions reflecting hospitalizations for hyperacute stroke was analysed based on data of the Szent János Hospital in 2009-2012, and on national data from 2006-2012. Descriptive statistics was used to present the data. The variation between daily admission was compared by chi-square test. Results - The proportion of daily admission of stroke patients admitted to the Szent János Hospital was the highest at the beginning of the week (18% on Monday, and 21% on Tuesday) and the lowest on the weekend (9% and 9% on Saturday and Sunday, respectively). The distribution of ambulance transports in Budapest due to acute stroke tended to be similar (15% and 15% on Monday and Tuesday, whereas 13% and 12% on Saturday and Sunday, respectively) on different days of the week. No such Monday peak could be observed in a single centre regarding thrombolytic interventions: 18% and 19% of the total of 80 thrombolytic interventions in the Szent János Hospital were performed on Monday and Sunday, respectively. At the national level the higher Monday rate is obvious: during a 7-year period 16.0%, 12.7%, and 13.5% of all thrombolytic interventions in Hungary were performed on Monday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Conclusion - Monday preference of stroke is not exclusively caused by the lack of emergency care approach, and the phenomenon is not consistent at the individual hospital level in cases undergoing thrombolysis.

Clinical Neuroscience

What is the real effect of pregabalin in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain? (Do patients suffer from less pain or do they less care about it?)

CAGDAS Erdogan, NEDIM Ongun, SELIM Tümkaya, HAKAN Alkan, NEŞE Öztürk

Objectives - Depression and anxiety are frequent in patients with chronic diseases such as diabetic neuropathic pain. The pain seems to be more severe in patients in whom depressive findings accompanied pain symptoms. Pregabalin was reported to have positive effects on anxiety and depression. This brings out the question, whether the pain relief effect of pregabalin is due to its analgesic effect or to its effects on mood? The aim of this study is to find out whether the positive effect of pregabalin in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain is limited to its effect on pain. Thus the question - do patients suffer from less pain or do they less care about pain? - should be answered. Methods - With this aim the NRS scores of 46 patients with diabetic neuropathic pain, whose HADS scores did not change with pregabalin treatment were compared with their baseline levels, retrospectively. Results - The NRS scores of the group were reduced with pregabalin treatment. Conclusion - This results suggests that the reduced pain in pregabalin treatment should be independent from its effects on depression and anxiety.

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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

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

[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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]

RAJNA Péter

[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]

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. ]