Clinical Neuroscience



MARCH 10, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(03-04)

[Pathologically, Binswanger’s disease is subcortical periventricular leucoencephalopathy sparing the U fibers. Clinically it is characterised by executive dysfunction, gait problems, urinary incontinence, pseudobulbar palsy, mood disturbances and dementia. The pathomechanism of Binswanger’s disease is unclear. It is hypothesized that it results from an ischemic-hypoxic injury of the periventricular white matter, which, in turn, can be caused by a sclerotic elongation of the medullary arteries, widening of the perivascular spaces or decreased brain perfusion due to hypotension or heart disease. The symptoms of Binswanger’s disease frequently overlap with those of normal pressure hydrocephalus, vascular parkinsonism and Alzheimer’s disease. A diagnostic criterion of Binswanger’s disease is radiologically demonstrated leukoaraiosis, which, on the other hand, is not equivalent with Binswanger’s disease. A good clinical response after lumbar puncture or shunt implantation might lead to confusion with normal pressure hydrocephalus, which further complicates the clinical diagnosis. It is likely that among the above mentioned disorders there are a number of transitional forms and overlaps, which might be explained by the common pathomechanism of disturbance in cerebrospinal fluid circulation.]



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[Primary prevention program of the Hungarian Spine Society - Part I. Scientific background of the posture correction exercise scheme]

GARDI Zsuzsa, FESZTHAMMER Artúrné, DARABOSNÉ Tim Irma, TÓTHNÉ Steinhausz Viktória, SOMHEGYI Annamária, VARGA Péter Pál

[The primary prevention program of the Hungarian Spine Society aims to increase awareness of the need to develop and automatically maintain a biomechanically correct posture for all school children. The biomechanically correct posture is a dynamic balance based on a correct middle position of the pelvis and on muscle balance. In this position three important anatomical points - the left and right anterior superior iliac spines and the upper medial point of the pubic bone - form one frontal plane. From side-view the imaginary weight median of the body crosses the 2nd to 5th lumbar and the 2nd to 5th cervical vertebral bodies. When the muscles involved in posture are in balance, their strength and flexibility are just appropriate for the almost continuous work required against gravity. In case of static and/or dynamic under- or overload tonic muscles become shortened, and phasic muscles become stretched, and are no longer able to work optimally. Since many muscles and muscle parts that are involved in normal posture maintenance are not satisfactorily challenged in regular physical exercises and sport activities, the preventive exercise scheme of the Hungarian Spine Society aimed to involve these rarely used muscles in special strengthening and stretching exercises. The scheme is based on 12 test exercises that assess the strength and flexibility of postural muscles. A person who is able to do all test exercises correctly has no problem with his or her muscle balance. In order to counteract the harm caused by sedentary lifestyle already in childhood, regular use of this posture correction scheme in physical education starting from preschool throughout the school-years is recommended for all children.]

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[Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a new endemic of the 21st century which becomes the biggest health and social problem of the ageing societies in the next few decades. Vascular factors, such as cardiac arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation, play an important role in the pathogenesis of AD. Arrhythmias might develop as a consequence of AD, too, and they might be caused by the cholinergic medications used in the treatment of AD. In addition, AD has a major influence on the treatment of arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation. Because of these, AD and arrhythmias might accompany each other in the practice of several medical specialties; these interactions are reviewed in this paper. ]

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[Rationale - β-amyloid peptides, comprising the major neuropathological lesions of Alzheimer's disease, have been found to form depositions in various peripheral tissues, including the skin. Neurons in the disorder succumb to the altered ionic homeostasis and some other factors caused by this toxic peptide. In line with these findings, our study aimed to find differences in biochemical processes of cultured cutaneous fibroblasts derived from sporadic Alzheimer patients and from agematched control individuals that may mirror changes in the central nervous system. Methods - Intracellular ionic homeostasis of Alzheimer and control fibroblasts was measured in Fura-2AMloaded human fibroblasts by dual wavelength spectrofluorimetry. Results - Cells derived from Alzheimer patients exhibited lower intracellular free calcium levels as compared to the control cultures. Exposure of fibroblasts to β-amyloid resulted in increased calcium concentrations of the control cells, but not of Alzheimer ones. Conclusion - Our findings indicate that Alzheimer’s disease is a systemic disorder that, among others, affects the calcium homeostasis of fibroblasts. Even though it is unknown whether the diminished ionic response of Alzheimer fibroblasts is a disease or actual status marker, it could prove to be a useful model for the analysis of Alzheimer specific changes.]

Clinical Neuroscience


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[Background - Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer dementia (AD) show similarities (advanced age, formation of deposits of similar content). Recently apolipoprotein E 2 (apoE 2) has been associated with AMD, while apoE4 with AD. The question of coexistence, especially with respect to the genetic background has not been studied earlier. We investigated, therefore, the occurrence of AMD in AD patients and compared their lipid profile and apoE polymorphism. Methods - 49 AMD, 32 AD and 27 control patients were examined (risk factors, visual acuity, slit lamp biomicroscopy, fundoscopy). Following measurement of triglyceride, total and HDL cholesterol levels, apoE mutation analysis was performed. Results - AMD was found in 8% of the cooperating AD patients. The prevalence of the apoE 4 isoforms in the AMD, AD and the control patients was 2%, 47% and 22%, while that of apoE 2 was 17%, 6% and 7%, respectively. The prevalence of apoE 3 isoform was 82%, 41% and 71%, respectively. Triglyceride, total and HDL cholesterol were in the reference range; however, AD patients were characterized by a lower total cholesterol value. Conclusions - The new finding of this publication is the rare occurrence of AMD among AD patients. The higher frequency of apoE 4 among the AD population, and the higher frequency of apoE 2 among AMD patients in the South-Western region of Hungary confirms the findings of other investigators.]

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[The goal of treatment of dementia-related disorders is to reserve cognitive and functional ability, minimize behavioral and psychological disturbances, and slow disease progression, since currently available therapies can not reverse the pathologic processes. Among them, the most common is Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The authors review the therapeutic guidelines of these dementia types adapted to Hungarian conditions. Cho­li­nesterase inhibitors represent first-line therapy for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, whereas a glutamate N-metil-D-aspartate antagonist is used in the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. In milder stages, phar­macotherapy may be supplemented by the use of nootropics. The progression slowing drugs have not only impact on cognitive symptoms but also affect behavioral and psychological symptoms. De­pen­ding on the severity of dementia and the existence of behavioral and psychological symptoms, these medicines may be re­commended as monotherapy or in combination. To further alleviate behavioral and psychological symptoms a variety non-pharmacological methods are known, at present their effectiveness has not been proven. Antipsychotics may be used to reduce agitation and aggression. Taking into account the side effects profile of antipsychotics, tiapride or risperidon ad­mi­nistration can be considered. In the case of their ineffectiveness, haloperidol may be used. ]

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[The role of immobilization stress and sertindole on the expression of APP, MAPK-1 and β-actin genes in rat brain]

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[Stress, depending on its level and quality, may cause adaptive and maladaptive alterations in brain functioning. As one of its multiple effects, elevated blood cortisol levels decrease the synthesis of the neuroprotective BDNF, thus leading to hippocampal atrophy and synapse loss, and rendering it a possible cause for the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) related neuropathological and cognitive changes. As a result of the stress response, intraneuronal alterations - also affecting the metabolism of β-actin - can develop. These have a role in the regulation of memory formation (LTP), but in pathological conditions (AD) they could lead to the accumulation of Hirano bodies (actin-cofilin rods). According to the dementia treatment guidelines, the behavioural and psychological symptoms of AD can be treated with certain antipsychotics. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the effects of sertindole (currently not used in the standard management of AD) on the transcription of some AD associated genes (amyloid precursor protein [APP], mitogen activated protein kinase-1 [MAPK-1], β-actin) in the brain of rats exposed to chronic immobilization stress (CIS). Male Wistar rats were exposed to CIS for three weeks. The four groups were: control (n=16), CIS (n=10), 10 mg/kg sertindole (n=5) and 10 mg/kg sertindole + CIS (n=4). Following transcardial perfusion, the relative levels of hippocampal and cortical mRNA of the previously mentioned genes were measured with real-time PCR. CIS induced hippocampal β-actin (p<0.01), MAPK-1 and APP (p<0.05) mRNA overexpression. The simultaneous administration of sertindole suppressed this increase in β-actin, MAPK-1 and APP expression (p<0.05). Ours is the first report about CIS induced β-actin gene overexpression. This finding, in accordance with the similar results in APP and MAPK-1 expression, underlines the significance of cytoskeletal alterations in AD pathogenesis. The gene expression reducing effect of sertindole suggests that antipsychotic drugs may have a neuroprotective effect.]