Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical studies on pramipexol retard]

KLIVÉNYI Péter, VÉCSEI László

MAY 30, 2010

Clinical Neuroscience - 2010;63(05-06)

[Pramipexol retard is the newest drug for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The prolonged release of the agent in this preparation allows a more continuous dopaminergic stimulation than previous preparations, without reducing the agent’s already known and proven clinical efficiency. In addition, it has a more favourable adverse effect profile than previous preparations, and patient compliance can also be better as it needs to be taken only once daily. These benefits have been proven in recent clinical studies, of which the most important ones are reviewed here.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 2)]

SZIRMAI Imre

[Teaching of neurologists is indisposed worldwide. University tutors are engaged in teaching, research and patient-care. This triple challenge is very demanding, and results in permanent insecurity of University employees. To compensate for the insufficient clinical training, some institutes in the USA employ academic staff members exclusively for teaching. The formation of new subspecialties hinders the education and training of general neurologists. At the present four generations of medical doctors are working together in the hospitals. The two older generations educate the younger neurologists who have been brought up in the world of limitless network of sterile information. Therefore their manual skills at the bedside and knowledge regarding emergency treatment are deficient. Demographics of medical doctors changed drastically. Twice as many women are working in neurology and psychiatry than men. Integrity of neurology is threatened by: 1. Separation of the cerebrovascular diseases from general neurology. Development of "stroke units" was facilitated by the better reimbursement for treatment and the interest of the pharmaceutical companies. The healthcare politics assisted to split the neurology into two parts. The independent status of “stroke departments” will reduce the rest of clinical neurology to outpatient service. 2. The main argumentation to segregate the rare neurological diseases was that their research will provide benefit for the diseases with high prevalence. This argumentation can rather be considered territorial imperative. The separation of rare diseases interferes with the teaching of differential diagnostics during neurological training. The traditional pragmatic neurology can not be retrieved. The faculty of neurology could retain its integrity because of the improvement of diagnostic methods and the more and more effective drugs. Nevertheless, even the progression of neurological sciences induces dissociation of clinical neurology. Neurology shall suffer fragmentation if the professional authorities fail to control the separation of subspecialties, if teaching of future neurologists, including practical knowledge and skills of diagnostic decision making, is not supported.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Epidemiology of dementia in Hungary]

ÉRSEK Katalin, KÁRPÁTI Krisztián, KOVÁCS Tibor, CSILLIK Gabriella, GULÁCSI L. Ádám, GULÁCSI László

[Objective - To estimate the epidemiology and the distribution of disease severity of dementia in Hungary, using published data. To estimate the demented population of 2008 and to make a projection for 2050. Methodology - With an outlook for the international professional literature and the available Hungarian information we examine the epidemiology of dementia in Hungary by age-groups and disease severity (according to MMSE categories), then make our estimation for the entire population. Results - Based on the estimation of the number of demented people in Hungary there is a noticeable difference between the domestic and the internationally published data. According to previous Hungarian studies, the number of the demented subjects vary between 530 and 917 thousand patients. Multiplying the elderly age-group’s populations by the global prevalence data it results in 101 thousand of demented patients. Estimation by the domestic published data we remarkably overestimate the presumed value, whereas by using the global prevalence figures we underestimate. Conclusions - There is a strong need for a representative study to obtain exact figures on the prevalence of dementia in Hungary. Getting exact figures of the Hungarian prevalence of dementia it is a strong need an overall representative study. With the lack of it the health and social care systems are not able to prepare for providing the increasing number of patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Intracranial propagation of invasive aspergilloma in an immuncompromised patient]

SIMON Márta, VASTAGH Ildikó, VÁRALLYAY György, TURÁNYI Eszter, SRÉTER Lídia, CZIRJÁK Sándor, BERECZKI Dániel

[Aspergillus infection of the central nervous system is a rare disease, occasionally seen among immunocompromised patients. The most frequent pathway is hematogenic dissemination. Less known is the direct propagation from the paranasal sinuses, which is usually observed in immunocompetent patients. We report a patient who developed cavernous sinus syndrome due to an invasive intracranial aspergilloma after longlasting chemo- and steroid therapy for chronic lymphoid leukemia and immunhemolytic anemia. The characteristic features seen on radiological images - brain CT and MRI - suggested the possibility of invasive aspergilloma. Postoperative histology defined the diagnosis. Our case review highlights the importance of considering the possibility of an invasive opportunistic infection of the CNS in an immunocompromised patient presenting a new neurological sign.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[ABSTRACTS OF THE 5TH PANNONIAN SYMPOSIUM ON CNS INJURY Pécs, 13-15, May, 2010]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurology! Adieau? (Part 1)]

SZIRMAI Imre

[The neurological practice suffered considerable changes during the last twenty years. The recent therapeutic methods and the acceptance of the ideology of evidence based medicine, which is based on confidence in statistics, changed the reasoning of the neurologists. Therapy protocols intrude into the field of individual medicine, and doctors accept treatment schemes to alleviate responsibility of their decisions. In contrast with this, recent achievements in pharmacogenetics emphasize the importance of individual drug therapies. The protocol of intravenous cerebral thrombolysis does not require defining the origin of cerebral ischaemia in the acute stage, therefore, this procedure can be regarded as human experiment. According to the strict protocol thrombolysis might be indicated only in 1-8% of patients with cerebral ischaemia. According to the Cohrane database more trials are needed to clarify which patients are most likely to benefit from treatment. Because of the change in therapeutic principles transient ischaemic attack has been newly defined as “acute neurovascular syndrome”. Multiplication of neurological subspecialties has been facilitated by the development of diagnostic tools and the discovery of effective new drugs. The specialization led to narrowing of interest and competency of clinicians. Several new neurological scientific societies were founded for the representation of specific disorders. In Hungary, between 1993 and 2000 nine scientific societies were grounded within the field of clinical neurology. These societies should be thankful to the pharmaceutical industries for their existence. In some European countries in 2007 only three neurological subspecialties were accepted, which are neurophysiology, neuro-rehabilitation and childneurology. Neuro-radiology is in the hands of general radiologists, the specialization is not granted for neurologists. Because of the subspecialization the general professionalism of neurologists has diminished. Among young neurologists the propedeutic skills suffered most seriously. Subspecialisation of teachers also interferes with the practice oriented teaching of medical students and residents.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential responses in Parkinson’s disease

CICEKLI Esen, TITIZ Pinar Ayse, TITIZ Ali, OZTEKIN Nese, MUJDECI Banu

Background - Our objectives were to determine the differences in the vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) responses in patients diagnosed with early staged idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared to the normal population and evaluate the vestibular system disorder causing balance-posture disorders. Second aim of this study was to investigate caloric test responses particularly in early staged PD compared to normal popu­lation. Material and methods - Thirty patients (14 females and 16 males; mean age, 60.6 ± 13.1 years) diagnosed with idiopathic PD and 28 healthy subjects (20 males and 8 females; mean age, 59.1 ± 6.4 years) were included. The patient and control groups were subdivided according to their age, gender and the patient group was subdivided according to onset time of the Parkinson symptoms, Hoehn-Yahr staging. The subgroups were compared for VEMP and caloric test responses. Results - There were no significant differences between the study and control groups for right and left VEMP measurements. Patients over 60 years and under 60 years did not show significant differences in terms of right and left mean VEMP measurements. However, P1 amplitude was significantly lower in patients over 60 years old (P = .004). Gender, disease duration, BERG balance scale and Hoehn-Yahr stage had no effect on the VEMP amplitudes. There was no significant correlation with the side of Parkinsonian symptoms to the side of canal paresis (P = .566) and the side on which no VEMP response was obtained in caloric test. Conclusion - VEMP responses were not different between PD and healthy subjects. VEMP P1 amplitude was decreased with age in PD group. Canal paresis and symptoms side were not statistically correlated in caloric test.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Earlier and more efficiently: the role of deep brain stimulation for parkinson’s disease preserving the working capabilities]

DELI Gabriella, BALÁS István, KOMOLY Sámuel, DÓCZI Tamás, JANSZKY József, ASCHERMANN Zsuzsanna, NAGY Ferenc, BOSNYÁK Edit, KOVÁCS Norbert

[Background – The recently published “EarlyStim” study demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with early fluctuations is superior to the optimal pharmacological treatment in improving the quality of life and motor symptoms, and preserving sociocultural position. Our retrospective investigation aimed to evaluate if DBS therapy was able to preserve the working capabilities of our patients. Methods – We reviewed the data of 39 young (<60 years-old) PD patients who underwent subthalamic DBS implantation at University of Pécs and had at least two years follow-up. Patients were categorized into two groups based on their working capabilities: Patients with active job (“Job+” group, n=15) and retired patients (without active job, “Job-” group, n=24). Severity of motor symptoms (UPDRS part 3), quality of life (EQ-5D) and presence of active job were evaluated one and two years after the operation. Results – As far as the severity of motor symptoms were concerned, similar (approximately 50%) improvement was achieved in both groups. However, the postoperative quality of life was significantly better in the Job+ group. Majority (12/15, 80%) of Job+ group members were able to preserve their job two years after the operation. However, only a minimal portion (1/24, 4.2%) of the Job- group members was able to return to the world of active employees (p<0.01, McNemar test). Conclusion – Although our retrospective study has several limitations, our results fit well with the conclusions of “EarlyStim” study. Both of them suggest that with optimal timing of DBS implantation we may preserve the working capabilities of our patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diagnostic criteria and differential diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease]

TAKÁTS Annamária

[The clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is based on the identification of some combination of the clinical motor signs of bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor and postural instability. Three levels of diagnostic confidence are differentiated: possible, probable, and definite. The diagnosis of possible and probable Parkinson’s disease based on clinical criteria alone, while definite diagnosis requires neuropathologic confirmation. To differentiate Parkinson’s disease (idiopathic Parkinsonian syndrome) and other Parkinsonian syndromes is of increasing importance considering the therapy and life expectancy of the patients. Recently the functional imaging technics have been more and more helpful in the early differential diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Efficacy of deep brain stimulation in our patients with Parkinson’s disease]

GERTRÚD Tamás, TAKÁTS Annamária, RADICS Péter, RÓZSA Ildikó, CSIBRI Éva, RUDAS Gábor, GOLOPENCZA Péter, ENTZ László, FABÓ Dániel, ERÕSS Loránd

[Background and purposes - In advanced Parkinson’s disease, medically refractory motor fluctuation or medically resistant tremor considerably affects quality of life. However, these symptoms can be mostly successfully treated by deep brain stimulation. We analyzed the efficacy of bilateral subthalamic stimulation in our patients with Parkinson’s disease. Methods - We assessed the clinical data of ten patients who have been treated in the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University and have been operated in the National Institute of Neurosciences between 2008 and 2011. The Hoehn-Yahr scale score, the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale score and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire 39, as well as the dose of antiparkinson medication were documented prior to and one year after surgery. Results - Patient condition improved according to the Hoehn-Yahr scale, approximately by two stages. The dose of antiparkinson medication could be reduced by 63.4% (p=0.005) post operation. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale scores decreased by 70.9% (p=0.005). 12 hours after medication withdrawal, execution of daily activity improved by 57.1% (p<0.01) and motor functions developed by 79.1% (p<0.01). Duration of dyskinesias decreased by 62.5% (p=0.018), duration of akinesia diminished by 87.5% (p=0.005). Quality of life rose by 41.6% (p<0.01). Neuropsychological tests detected improvement in verbal memory. Conclusion - With deep brain stimulation, the dosage of antiparkinson medication could be significantly reduced, with considerable improvements in motor function and quality of life. Although the number of patients is still low, good results have been established by careful patient selection, precise neurosurgical procedure and by appropriate programming and patient care.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[UPDATES IN PRACTICAL NEUROLOGY - I. THE PRINCIPLES OF MODERN LEVODOPA THERAPY IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE]

KLIVÉNYI Péter, VÉCSEI László

[Despite the levodopa is used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease for a long time, recently many questions raised about its clinical use. New issues emerged based on the clinical trials, on latest neuroimaging data and on better understanding the pathomechanism of motor complications. These observations have changed the routine clinical use of levodopa. In this review we summarize the evidences and practical implications of levodopa therapy.]