Clinical Neuroscience


FARSANG Marianna, TAKÁTS Annamária, SZIRMAI Imre, KOVÁCS Tibor

JANUARY 20, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(01-02)

[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.]



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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



[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.]

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.]

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Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer dementias


In aging societies, the morbidity and mortality of dementia is increasing at a significant rate, thereby imposing burden on healthcare, economy and the society as well. Patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life and life expectancy are greatly determined by the early diagnosis and the initiation of available symptomatic treatments. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine have been the cornerstones of Alzheimer’s therapy for approximately two decades and over the years, more and more experience has been gained on their use in non-Alzheimer’s dementias too. The aim of our work was to provide a comprehensive summary about the use of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimers’s dementias.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Investigating cognitive impairment in communities of practice – lessons learned]

VAJER Péter, JANCSÓ Zoltán, CSENTERI Orsolya, SZÔLLÔSI Gergô József, ANDRÉKA Péter

[In the “Three Generations for Health” programme, general practitioners were responsible for screening for dementia in their practices using mini-COG and Mini Mental State Examination. The aim was to present the screening results of those included, their assessment by the doctor and the further fate of the patients. After mini-COG test, MMSE test was performed in case of suspected dementia. The examiner categorized the result as abnormal or no abnormal, recorded the referral, and recorded the data in an online interface. Our study is a cross-sectional study; the evolution and distribution of the parameters described in the objectives are described with raw case numbers and proportions. Patients aged 55 years and over were recruited consecutively. Only those cases (29 730) where mini-COG and MMSE test results were available, their assessment by the physician, and referral data to specialist care were analyzed. The Mini-COG test revealed that 64% of the subjects were suspected of cognitive decline. Misclassification occurred in 13 015 cases, with 21% of the Mini-Cog test scores matching cognitive decline and 21% of lesions considered abnormal by GPs. The MMSE test raised the suspicion of dementia in 34% of the sample (10 174 people), with 4 262 (42%) of the participating GPs considering the result abnormal. 11% (2095 people) of people with abnormal Mini-Cog test scores and 17% (1709 people) of people with suspected dementia based on MMSE test scores were referred to specialist care. Our study assessed the practice of detecting cognitive decline in primary health care. The tools adopted for screening for dementia were used by practices, but the assessment of results and referral of suspected cases of dementia to specialist care were below the expected level. There is a need to improve primary care providers’ knowledge of dementia detection and treatment and to strengthen links with specialist care.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diabetes, dementia, depression, distress]

SZATMÁRI Szabolcs, ORBÁN-KIS Károly, MIHÁLY István, LÁZÁR Alpár Sándor

[The number of people living with diabetes continues to rise. Therefore neurologists or other health care practitioners may be increasingly faced with comorbid neuropsychiatric disorders commonly presented by diabetic patients. More recently there has been an increasing research interest not only in the interactions between diabetes and the nervous system, the fine structure and functional changes of the brain, but also in the cognitive aspects of antidiabetic treatments. Patients with both types of diabetes mellitus may show signs of cognitive decline, and depression. Comorbid insomnia, anxiety, and distress may also occur. The bi-directional relationships between all these phenomena as well as their connection with diabetes can lead to further health and quality of life deterioration. Therefore it is important that all practitioners involved in the care of diabetic patients recognize the presence of comorbid neuropsychiatric disturbances early on during the healthcare process. Identifying higher risk patients and early screening could improve the prognosis of diabetes and may prevent complications.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Pulmonary physiotherapy and aerobic exercise programs can improve cognitive functions and functional ability

TEKESIN Aysel, TUNC Abdulkadir, GÜNGEN Dogan Belma, AVCI Nalan, BAKIS Muhammed, PERK Seyma

Objective - The increasing prevalence of dementia over the previous decades has been accompanied by numerous social and economic problems. The importance of exercise in the prevention of dementia coupled with the impact of aspiration pneumonia on the mortality and morbidity of dementia patients cannot be overstated. This study investigates the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation combined with aerobic stretching exercises on the cognitive function, life quality, effort capacity, and level of depression in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the early stages of dementia. Methods - Sixty-nine patients with MCI diagnosis were routinely monitored, and six were excluded because they did not attend the follow-up appointments. The remaining 63 patients undertook pulmonary physiotherapy (PPT) and extremity exercises for six months. The mini-mental state examination (MMSE), six-minute walk test (6MWT), Nottingham health profile (NHP), and Beck depression inventory (BDI) scores were evaluated before and after exercise. Results - PPT plus extremity exercises appeared to significantly improve the MMSE scores and increase the 6MWT (p < 0.001) by an average of 25 m. No significant improvement was observed in the BDI and NHP scores. Conclusion - PPT and aerobic exercise positively affected the cognitive ability of MCI patients and improved their walking distance. These results underscore the importance of combining medical treatment with physical rehabilitation at the onset of dementia, a disease which exerts a significantly negative impact on the economy.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Genetically determined diseases associated with pathological brain iron accumulation and neurodegeneration]

ÁCS Péter, MOLNÁR Mária Judit, KLIVÉNYI Péter, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

[The rare, genetically determined group of diseases characterized by pathological accumulation of iron in the central nervous system and progressive, typically movement disorder’s symptoms are called NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation). By the rapid development of molecular genetics, it has become apparent that different mutations in numerous genes can lead to pathological cerebral iron accumulation. Simultaneously, it has also been recognized that the age of onset, the symptoms and the prognosis of NBIA disorders are much more diverse than it was previously perceived. To our knowledge, a review article on the most recent clinical data of NBIA has not been published in Hungarian. In the first part of this publication, we survey the general clinical characteristics and the diagnostic algorithm of NBIA diseases and address some considerations for differential diagnostics. In the second part of this review, the particular NBIA disorders are presented in details. The purpose of this article is to provide a clinical overview that may be useful for neurologists, pediatricians and any other medical practitioners interested in this field.]