Clinical Neuroscience



JANUARY 20, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(01-02)

[There is an increasing number of peripheral nerve disorders with inflammatory and immune mechanisms involved. The precise diagnosis is of utmost importance, since these patients can be successfully treated. Unfortunately, there is no specific marker for any disease of this group. The diagnosis therefore relies on the appropriate consideration of the clinical, neurophysiological and laboratory data, which requires in-depth knowledge of these diseases. In this paper we review the diagnostic criteria and treatment strategies for the major types of chronic inflammatory polyneuropathies.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience



[Dizziness and vertigo - like headache - are the most common complaints which lead patients to visit the doctor. In spite of the headache - which may be primary (e.g. migraine) or symptomatic - dizziness and vertigo do not appear to be a separate nosologic entity but rather the symptoms of several neurological disorders. For differential diagnosis, interdisciplinary thinking and activity is needed because the vestibular, neurological and psychiatric disorders might have a common role in the development of symptoms and further overlapping can also occur. The vascular disorders of the vertebrobasilar system are discussed in detail in this review. The importance, occurrence and causes of vertigo as a warning symptom is in the focus. The author draws attention to life-threatening conditions with acute onset in cases of the posterior scale ischemia and emphasizes the importance of the correct and early diagnosis. The author tries to clear up the nihilistic aspect in treating of stroke and stresses the necessity of thrombolysis and interventional radiological procedures which may be the only chance for the recovery of the patients. The pharmacological prevention of recurrent vascular events is also important and obligatory for the clinicians.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[In this work the authors provide evidences for a unifying concept of the syndromes of benign focal childhood epilepsies, Landau-Kleffner syndrome, and electrical status epilepticus in sleep treating them as a spectrum of disorders with a common transient, age dependent, non lesional, genetically based epileptogenic abnormality, the nature of which is still not known. The electro-clinical features of these syndromes are congruent with the different degree involvement of the perisylvian cognitive network and with the involvement of the thalamo-cortical associative system of variable degree. These epilepsies are characterized by the abundance of regional epileptiform discharges in sharp contrast with the rare and in several cases lacking seizures. The nature and severity of interictal cognitive symptoms are closely related to localization within the network and amount of epileptic interictal discharges. Spike-wave discharges are attributed to an alternation of overexcitation (spikes) and overinhibition (waves). The recurrent overinhibition represented by the wave of the discharges may interfere with the continuous depolarization of the cells of a large population of neurons, which is a requirement of the overt seizures. The overinhibition also interfere with cognitive processes which are correlated with the continuous presence of the fast (gamma) activity, binding the required cortical areas. Hence the recurrent inhibition works against the existence of the binding fast frequency activity. This is the assumed reason for the co-existence of the relative lack of overt seizures and in the same time for the frequently observed epileptogenic cognitive deficit symptoms ("cognitive epilepsies"). The time course of these syndromes overlaps with important developmental milestones. The frequent epileptic discharges alters the evolution of the perisylvian network developing late after early childhood and is very vulnerable for any interference in this imprinting time for speech and other cognitive functions. This spectrum of disorders represents a type of age linked, mild to severe ‘epileptic encephalopathy’ limited to the perisylvian network, where the cognitive impairment is underlied by epileptic discharges interfering with cognitive development.]

Clinical Neuroscience


OLÁH László, CSÉPÁNY Tünde, BERECZKY Zsuzsanna, KERÉNYI Adrienne, MISZ Mária, KAPPELMAYER János, CSIBA László

[Introduction - Decreased activity of natural anticoagulants (antithrombin-III, protein C, protein S) rarely causes cerebral ischaemia, however it can be found frequently in acute phase of ischaemic stroke. The authors’ aim was to investigate whether the decreased activity of natural anticoagulants is accompanied by worsening of symptoms in ischaemic stroke. Patients and method - Sixty-eight acute ischaemic stroke patients were investigated. Severity of symptoms were assessed and followed by the NIH Stroke Scale. Antithrombin- III, protein C, protein S activities, and concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured within 48 hours after onset of ischaemic stroke. Results - Progressing stroke was found in 29% of patients. Decreased activity of at least one natural anticoagulant proteins was present in 31% of patients. Progression of stroke symptoms occured in 76% of patients with decreased natural anticoagulant activity, while this proportion was only 9% in those with normal natural coagulation inhibitor protein activity (p<0.01). Progressing stroke was also more frequent in patients with elevated CRP value (60%) than in those with normal CRP level (11%; p<0.05). Decreased activity of natural anticoagulants was more frequent in patients with elevated CRP concentration compared with patients with normal CRP. Conclusion - The results demonstrate the importance of decreased activity of natural anticoagulants in acute phase of ischaemic stroke. This abnormality was present in about 1/3 of stroke patients. The decreased activity of natural coagulant inhibitor proteins may play an important role in development of progressing stroke thus indicating unfavourable outcome.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EXPERIMENTAL DEMYELINATION CAUSED BY PRIMARY OLIGODENDROCYTE DYSTROPHY Regional distribution of the lesions in the nervous system of mice brain]


[Background and purpose - Heterogeneity of multiple sclerosis lesions has been recently indicated: In addition to T-cell-mediated or T-cell plus antibody-mediated autoimmune mechanisms (patterns I-II) two other patterns (III-IV) were described. Patterns III-IV are characterized by primary oligodendrocyte dystrophy, reminiscent of virus- or toxin-induced demyelination rather than autoimmunity. It was described more than 30 years ago that dietary application of a copper-chelating agent called cuprizone results in primary oligodendrocyte degeneration which is followed by demyelination. The aim of the present study was to examine the regional distribution of cuprizone induced oligodendrocyte dystrophy and demyelination in the nervous system of mice. Material a methods - Demyelination was induced in male weanling Swis-Webster mice by feeding them on a diet containing 0.6% (W/W) cuprizone bis(cyclohexanone)-oxalyldihydrazone (G. F. Smith Chemical, Columbus OH) for 8 weeks. Animals were sacrificed after 3, 7, 14, 27, 35, 56 days of cuprizone administration. Samples were taken from corpus callosum, anterior commissure, optic nerve, cervical spinal cord and sciatic nerve. Samples were examined by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization for myelin proteins and myelin protein mRNA-s, respectively. Conventional neuropathological stainings and electron microscopy was also performed. Results - Oligodendrocyte degeneration and demyelination followed a particular standard pattern in the central nervous system. Profound myelin loss developed in the superior cerebellar peduncle, anterior comissure and corpus callosum, whereas the optic nerves, velum medullare anterior and spinal cord showed little or no demyelination. Sciatic nerves were unaffected. No infiltration by lymphocytes or blood-brain barrier damage was observed during cuprizone treatment. Conclusion - Cuprizone induced oligodendrocyte damage and demyelination follows a particular standard pattern in the central nervous system of mice. Cuprizone induced demyelination might be considered as a model for human demyelinating disorders with primary oligodendrocyte dystrophy and apoptosis.]

Clinical Neuroscience


FARSANG Marianna, TAKÁTS Annamária, SZIRMAI Imre, KOVÁCS Tibor

[Corticobasal degeneration was described in 1968 by Rebeiz, Kolodny and Richardson, who characterized the disease as a syndrome of asymmetric akinesis and rigidity, dystonia of the upper limb, apraxia, myoclonus and dementia. Atrophy of the frontal and parietal lobe, neuronal loss, gliosis and achromatic neurones (and nowadays astrocytic plaques) are the characteristic pathological features of the disease. Corticobasal degeneration is a rare or a rarely recognized disease and it is frequently misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. According to the Lang’s criteria, corticobasal degeneration can be diagnosed in the presence of rigidity and one cortical symptom (apraxia, cortical sensory loss, alien hand) or in a patient with rigidity, dystonia and focal reflex myoclonus. Exclusion criteria are early dementia (as in primary degenerative dementias), early vertical gaze problems (as in progressive supranuclear palsy), resting tremor and good, sustained therapeutic response to levodopa (as in Parkinson’s disease), severe autonomic problems (as in multiple system atrophy) and any pathology on imaging studies which might explain the clinical symptoms. It should be mentioned, that recently early dementia is recognized as an initial symptom of corticobasal degeneration. The authors present a case and review the literature to call attention to this disorder.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience


KISS Gábor

[Nerve conduction studies are fundamental elements of the neurophysiological investigation of neuromuscular diseases. They provide information on peripheral nerve function. Knowledge of the biological and technical basis of the method is essential for the clinician to understand the place of nerve conduction testing in the diagnostic process. A characteristic feature of the nerve fibers is their ability to conduct electrical potentials. This conductivity changes in pathologic circumstances; therefore, the patient's nerve conduction data may be important if a neuromuscular disorder is suspected. The electrical activity spreading along the nerve fibres can be detected with special techniques and instruments. To perform an examination, a stimulator, a high quality amplifier and a computer with various accessories are necessary. The examination is usually carried out by surface stimulation and recording electrodes and requires some cooperation. By supramaximal stimuli all nerve fibers in the peripheral nerve are activated, and their summated activity is recorded bipolarly. For technical reasons the procedures for the motor and the sensory nerve conduction measurements are somewhat different, but their principles are similar. A number of parameters, such as the latency, the amplitude, the area and the shape of the evoked potentials are analyzed. These parameters are influenced by many biological (age, gender, body height, etc.), physical (such as limb temperature) and technical factors. The results are compared with the reference data. Nerve conduction studies may help distinguish between normal and diseased nerve function. The latter has two main categories; axonal lesion and demyelinisation. Axonal lesion is characterized by relatively normal conduction velocity and lower than normal amplitude of the potentials. Demyelinisation is almost the opposite with long latencies, slow conduction velocity and relatively spared potential amplitudes. Nerve conduction studies help differentiate between these two forms. Abnormalities found by nerve conducion measurement may reflect the severity of the disease. Repeated studies are suitable for quantitative follow-up. The anatomical, physiological, pathophysiological and technical details are discussed below. The characteristic neurographic findings of various diseases are also summarized.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.

Clinical Neuroscience

[MR imaging of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis in children. A review (in English language)]

PATAY Zoltán

[Inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) are relatively rare in children, but their relevance to public health is considerable due to frequent and significant long term morbidity and even mortality. As in adults, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and multiple sclerosis (MS) and their variants are the most common entities in this group of pathologies in the pediatric patient population. Recent efforts have focused on establishing standardized diagnostic criteria schemes to facilitate the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of these diseases, however especially with multiple sclerosis those have not been fully validated yet for disease occurring in children. In recent decades the role of MRI has been constantly increasing in the diagnostic work-up of suspected inflammatory diseases of the CNS as well as in the follow-up of patients with confirmed disease. Currently, MRI is the first-line diagnostic imaging modality in ADEM and MS and is fully integrated in the most widely used diagnostic criteria schemes, but it has a key role in clinical therapeutic research trials as well. This paper provides an update on the current concepts and strategies of MRI in inflammatory diseases of the CNS, as well as a review of the imaging semiology of the various disease entities and variants with emphasis on clinical and imaging particularities relevant to the pediatric patient population.]

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.]