Clinical Neuroscience

[Characteristics and differential diagnostics of sleep related pathological movements. Update 2013]

FALUDI Béla, KOVÁCS Norbert, JANSZKY József, KOMOLY Sámuel

MAY 30, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(05-06)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.68.0165

[Wide variety of the movements (from the physiologic body position changes to different pathologic events) can be seen during the sleep period. The most important types of these movements are the sleep related events (from the parasomnias to the restless leg related movements), the movement disorders and the epilepsy related events. To differentiate between these events is required special skill, which is based on appropriate characterisation of the events (for example timing, repetition, pattern), the polysomnographic and video-EEG examination and validated questionnaires (FLEP scale). The appropriate differential diagnostics and therapy must be based on the knowledge of the relationship of the sleep architecture and movement events. This review would like to provide guideline for the understanding and recognizing the nature of the sleep related movements.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

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

JANSZKY József, HORVÁTH Réka, KOMOLY Sámuel

[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

Watershed infarction in hypereosinophilic syndrome: a diagnostic dilemma in FIP1L1-PDGFR alpha-associated myeloid neoplasm

IMELDA Marton, PÓSFAI Éva, ANNUS János Kristóf, BORBÉNYI Zita, NEMES Attila, VÉCSEI László, VÖRÖS Erika

Introduction - The FIP1L1-PDGFR alpha-positive, hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) is a new category of hematological entities. Various clinical symptoms may occur, with no specific characteristics in either the clinical picture or the neuroimaging findings, and this may give rise to a diagnostic dilemma. A report on a long follow-up period (10 years) in a case of HES that presented with neuropsychiatric symptoms appears to be unique. Besides the complexity of the diagnostic process, the successful treatment is discussed. Case report - The HES was diagnosed in a male patient at the age of 33 years, with involvement of the central nervous system and the myocardium. After the onset of the clinical signs, the MRI indicated bilateral cerebral and cerebellar cortico-subcortical lesions involving the watershed areas, mainly in the parieto-occipital regions. High-dose intravenous steroid (methylprednisolone 500 mg/day) alleviated the neurological symptoms within a few weeks, and the administration of imatinib (200 mg/day) resulted in an impressive regression of the hypereosinophilia and splenomegaly within 6 weeks. During the follow-up, the patient has continued to receive imatinib. The molecular remission has persisted, no new complaints have developed and the condition of the patient has remained stable. Conclusion - The timely recognition of the HES and identification of the disease subtype which led to the administration of imatinib may be the key to successful treatment. The long stable follow-up period gives rise to a new dilemma in the treatment of the HES in these special cases: for how long should a patient receive a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and may the treatment be suspended?

Clinical Neuroscience

Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency - disease or misdiagnosis?

PÁNCZÉL Gyula, SZIKORA István, BERENTEI Zsolt, GUBUCZ István, MAROSFŐI Miklós, KOVÁCS Krisztina, RÓZSA Anikó, RÓZSA Csilla

Background and purpose - Former studies reported internal jugular vein stenosis in patients with multiple sclerosis. We aimed to evaluate if these venous stenoses were real and cerebral venous outflow of patients with multiple sclerosis differed from that of normal controls. Methods - 20 controls were prospectively investigated by angiography and duplex ultrasound. Seven patients with multiple sclerosis underwent angiography in other centers; we reviewed these registrations and performed venous ultrasound examinations. Results - Angiography displayed >50% stenosis of internal jugular vein in 19 controls (69±17% on the right and 73±13% on the left side) and <50% stenosis in 1 control (43.5% and 44.6%). All 7 patients had at least one-sided stenosis. The mean degree of stenosis was 63±16% on the right and 67±13% on the left side. There was no significant difference in the degree of stenosis between patients and controls. However, these “stenoses” disappeared if the contrast agent was injected at a catheter position below the orifice of the subclavian vein during venography. The venous flow volume was also similar between groups: 479.7±214.1 and 509.8±212.0 ml/min (right and left side) in the patients and 461.3±224.3 and 513.6±352.2 ml/min in the control group; p=0.85 and 0.98 (right and left). Color and power duplex imaging also revealed normal blood flow of the internal jugular vein in all patients and controls. Conclusion - The cerebral venous status of patients with multiple sclerosis and controls were similar. The angiographic “stenoses” were virtual, caused by the contrast dilution effect of the non-contrast blood stream of the subclavian vein.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Acoustic CR®-neuromodulation - first experiencies in Hungary with novel patented method in therapy of chronic subjectiv tinnitus]

BENCSIK Beáta, GÁBORJÁN Anita, HARNOS Andrea, LÁSZLÓ Klára, VÉGSŐ Péter, TAMÁS László

[Objective - Acoustic CR®-neuromodulation is a novel patented method for the therapy of chronic subjective tinnitus and has been tested in Hungary, as one of the first European countries introducing this procedure. It can be used for the treatment of monaural or binaural tonal tinnitus. Suitability of patients for this therapy was assessed by the help of an appropriate set of criteria. Aim of our study was to analyze 6-month therapy and related measurement data of patients first treated with this method in Hungary and evaluate the results. Method - 27 outpatients (20 males, seven females) with a minimum of 6-month long history of subjective tinnitus were assessed (four detected on the right side, six on the left side, 17 on both sides) who were treated for six months by Acoustic CR®-neuromodulation. On 44 treated ears (21 right, 23 left), changes of tinnitus frequency and loudness were measured and analysed, using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) loudness/annoyance/pitch scores and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory tests, which were performed at defined intervals during the treatment period. Results - During this 6-month treatment period, significant decrease was detected in tinnitus frequency and loudness by tinnitometry (irrespective of the affected side), and an improvement in VAS annoyance/pitch scores and THI test results. VAS loudness did not show any significant changes. Conclusion - Acoustic CR®-neuromodulation therapy may be a useful treatment of subjective chronic tinnitus, but its efficacy should be proved in controlled clinical trials.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Alemtuzumab: benefits and challenges of new therapy in multiple sclerosis]

ILLÉS Zsolt, TOBIAS Sejbaek, CSÉPÁNY Tünde

[The widening spectrum of MS treatment is partially due to increasing knowledge about the pathogenesis of MS. The humanized monoclonal antibody against CD52, alemtuzumab has been approved in Europe for the treatment of MS, which results in long-term depletion of B and T cells due to complement- and antibody-mediated cytotoxicity. Based on phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, alemtuzumab decreases the risk of sustained neurological deficit and progression compared to high-dose subcutaneous interferon- β1a in patients with active relapsing-remitting MS, either treatment-naïve or with breakthrough disease. We review advantages and benefits of the treatment, discuss safety concerns, and present a case to describe practical issues.]

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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]

ALTMANN Anna

[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. ]