Clinical Neuroscience

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


MAY 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(05-06)


[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

Assessment of mental health of carers according to patient stage of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease

YAZAR Olgun Hülya, YAZAR Tamer, DEMIR Yancar Esra, CANKAYA Soner, ENGINYURT Özgür

Purpose - In this study the aim was to collect data to assess the mental health of carers for patients with diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD) according to disease stage and to examine precautions to reduce the patient and disease load on carers. Method - The study included 144 patients with staging according to modified Hoehn and Yahr criteria and 144 patient relatives who provided care support for patients every day, for some or all of the day, and who were over the age of 18 years and accepted participation in the research. Our prospective and cross-sectional study performed detailed neurological examination of patients, and after completing the ‘Personal Information Form’ with the interviewer every patient, with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD) according to ‘UK Brain Bank’ diagnostic criteria, had the ‘Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)’ and ‘Modified Hoehn and Yahr scale (HYS)’ applied. Carers first completed the ‘Personal Information Form’ and then had the ‘Short Symptom Inventory (SSI)’ applied. Results - As the stage of disease increased, the points for all sub-scales of the Short Symptom Inventory increased. Conclusion - With the parallel increase in disease scores and UPDRS stage scores, the points obtained by carers on the SSI sub-scales increased. This data shows that with progressing disease stage, the load on the carer increases and mental health begins to be disrupted.

Clinical Neuroscience

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


[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

[Relationship between patent foramen ovale and cryptogenic stroke in a retrospective hospital-based study]


[Objective - After routine workup, 23-25% of ischemic strokes etiology remains unknown, i.e. cryptogenic. However, according to international results pathogenic patent foramen ovale (PFO) reveals in 25% of these cases. Aim of our retrospective study to prove the substantial etiological role of PFO-related stroke (PFO-RS) in cryptogenic strokes (CS), and to identify age related differences in stroke etiology. Methods - All new ischemic strokes of 2014-2015 were classified by ASCOD (Atherosclerosis, Small-vessel disease, Cardiac pathology, Other, Dissection) phenotyping. CS was defined when the etiology was unknown. With the help of special ultrasound techniques and RoPE (Risk of Paradoxical Embolism) score the portion of PFO-RS were determined in the examined CS population. Moreover, etiological distribution and differences between age groups (<40, 40-60, >60 years) were described. Results - During the examined period, 8.12% of 985 new ischemic strokes were categorized as CS. 41.38% of examined CS were found to be PFO-related. PFO-RS were considerably more frequent in the younger age groups than in the older age groups. The probability of appearance of PFO-RS were significantly higher in younger age than in case of age independency. Our results verify the substantial etiological role of PFO-RS in CS, and confirm the essential role of contrast enhanced functional transcranial Doppler in the routine diagnostic workup. Age related differences in stroke etiology were found to be statistically significant (p=0.000, df=14), in which small-vessel disease, cardiac pathology, dissection, other pathologies, CS and PFO-RS were contributed significantly. Based on our results, till in young age rare etiologies are typical, while in older age classical etiologies are mainly characteristic.]

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

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

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]


[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

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


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

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


[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. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[LADA type diabetes, celiac diasease, cerebellar ataxia and stiff person syndrome. A rare association of autoimmune disorders]

SOÓS Zsuzsanna, SALAMON Mónika, ERDEI Katalin, KASZÁS Nóra, FOLYOVICH András, SZŰCS Anna, BARCS Gábor, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SKALICZKI József, VADASDI Károly, WINKLER Gábor

[Celiac disease - in its typical form - is a chronic immunemediated enteropathy with typical clinical symptoms that develops against gliadin content of cereal grains, and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. In cases of atypical manifestation classic symptoms may be absent or mild, and extra-intestinal symptoms or associated syndromes dominate clinical picture. The authors present a longitudinal follow-up of such a case. A 63-years old woman was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 19, and with progressive limb ataxia at the age of 36, which was initially thought to be caused by cerebellar atrophy, later probably by stiff person syndrome. At the age 59, her diabetes mellitus manifested with type 2 diabetic phenotype, but based on GAD positivity later was reclassified as type 1 diabetes. Only the last check-up discovered the celiac disease, retrospectively explaining the entire disease course and neurological symptoms. By presenting this case, the authors would like to draw attention to the fact that one should think of the possibility of celiac disease when cerebellar ataxia, progressive neurological symptoms and diabetes are present at the same time. An early diagnosis may help to delay the progression of disease and help better treatment.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Relationship between Status Epilepticus Severity Score and etiology in adult NCSE patients

GENC Fatma, ERDAL Abidin, AKCA Gizem, KARACAY Ertan, GÖKSU Özaydın Eylem, KUTLU Gülnihal, GÖMCELI Bicer Yasemin

Purpose - Nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE) is a heterogeneous, severe neurological disorder of different etiologies. In this study, the outcomes of NCSE episodes was assessed in a large series of adult patients. Our objective was to evaluate relationship between Status Epilepticus Severity Score (STESS) and etiology and the role of etiological factors on predicting the outcomes. Method - In this retrospective study, the medical records of 95 patients over 18 years of age who were diagnosed with NCSE between June 2011 and December 2015 were reviewed. Their treatment and follow-up for NCSE was performed at the Epilepsy Unit in Department of Neurology, Antalya Research and Training Hospital. Etiological factors thought to be responsible for NCSE episodes as well as the prognostic data were retrieved. The etiological factors were classified into three groups as those with a known history of epilepsy (Group 1), primary neurological disorder (Group 2), or systemic/unknown etiology (Group 3). STESS was retrospectively applied to patients. Results - There were 95 participants, 59 of whom were female. Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 consisted of 11 (7 female), 54 (33 female), and 30 (19 female) patients, respectively. Of the 18 total deaths, 12 occurred in Group 2, and 6 in Group 3. The negative predictive value for a STESS score of ≤ 2 was 93.88% (+LR 2.05 95% CI: 1.44-2.9 and -LR 0.3 95% CI 0.10-0.84 ) in the overall study group. While the corresponding values for Group 1 (patients with epilepsy), Group 2 (patients with primary neurological disorder), and group 3 (patients with systemic or unknown etiology) were 100%, 92.59% (+LR 2.06 95%CI: 1.32-3.21 and -LR 0.28 95% CI 0.08-1.02 ) 83.33% (+LR 1.14 95%CI: 0.59-2.9 and -LR 0.80 95% CI 0.23-2.73). Conclusions - This study included the one of the largest patients series ever reported in whom STESS, a clinical scoring system proposed for use in patients with status epilepticus, has been implemented. Although STESS appeared to be quite useful for predicting a favorable outcome in NCSE patients with epilepsy and primary neurological disorders, its predictive value in patients with systemic or unknown etiology was lower. Further prospective studies including larger NCSE samples are warranted.