Clinical Neuroscience


GULYÁS Szilvia, NAGY Ferenc, SZIRMAI Imre

MAY 30, 2006

Clinical Neuroscience - 2006;59(05-06)

[A 36 year-old male patient developed sudden double vision and gait imbalance. Neurological examination revealed gaze paresis upward and on the left side downward (vertical “oneand- a-half”-syndrome), horizontal gaze nystagmus on the left bulbus directed to left. The MRI revealed bilateral thalamic and left midbrain ischemic lesions. The brainstem auditory and visual evoked responses were normally configured. Optokinetic nystagmus test found rightward, upward and downward hypometric saccades, convergence-retraction nystagmus - which was not visible at physical neurological examination - saccadic smooth pursuit eye movement and pseudoabducent palsy on both sides. The complex gaze disturbance was attributed to the lesions in the intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus and in the pretectal and rostromedial tegmentum of the mesencephalon. Infarcts may have been due to a variant artery: i.e. the thalamoperforant and the superior paramedian mesencephalic arteries originate with common branch from one of the communicant basilar artery. The authors discuss the mechanism of complex gaze palsy and call attention to the diagnostic value of optokinetic nystagmus examination.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience



[Out of an average total of 1400 autopsies per year, neuropathological examinations were performed in 477 cases between 1997 and 1999 to investigate the incidence of dementias. The majority of the studied subjects were over 50 years old. Bielschowsky's and/or Gallyas's silver methods and, in some cases, protein tau (MAP) immuncytochemistry and amyloid staining were performed beside routine examination. Pathological changes were found in 212 of the 364 cases studied by the above methods but histological changes associated with dementia were only detected in 167 cases. The various forms of Alzheimer's dementia were also classified by age. The "incipient" form of Alzheimer's disease was verified in 23 cases. Old infarcts of various extensions were found in 42 percent of Alzheimer's dementias. Very mild or age-related degenerative changes were observed in 82 cases among subjects over 50 years old. Of these, eight patients died in their 90s. In some cases (n=38) the number of neuritic plaques dominated over the number of neurofibrillary tangles but a reverse finding also occurred (n=13). Neuronal degeneration was variable and was not always proportional to the number of neurofibrillary tangles. "Simple type of senile atrophy" was defined by the presence of minor or age-related Alzheimer changes and was considered a separate entity. The "incipient" form of Alzheimer's dementia was diagnosed in relatively young individuals where mild Alzheimer changes were found at the neuropathological examination. "Preclinical" Alzheimer's dementia could only be suspected by clinical data and could very rarely be supported by the neuropathological finding of "incipient" form. The ratio of pure Alzheimer’s to vascular dementias cases proved to be 54:41 in this study. The results suggest that dementias are considerably underdiagnosed both in the clinical and pathological practice and that the recently defined "preclinical" and "incipient" forms are very hard to recognize both clinically and pathologically. The neuropathological study of the degenerative, mainly Alzheimer's type, findings in the randomly selected autopsies revealed great variations which raises many questions concerning the normal and pathologic aging of the brain as well as the "incipient" and senile forms of Alzheimer's dementia.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[Objective - To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of levetiracetam in children with drug resistant epilepsy from a retrospective study. Methods - We report the result of a study of 85 pediatric patients (mean 10.5 years, range: 1-24) with refractory generalized and focal epilepsy, who received levetiracetam as add-on treatment. The average duration of epilepsy was eight years, and the patient were treated with mean of 6.0 antiepileptic drugs befor levetiracetam was introduced. Results - Ten patients (12%) became seizuresfree, three (3%) responded with seizure reduction of more than 90%, 32 (38%) responded with seizure reduction of more than 50% following introduction of levetiracetam. No response to levetiracetam was reported in 34% (n: 29). Positive psychotopic effect was observed in 26 patient (30%). Mild to moderate side effects were reported in 11 patients (13%), consisting most frequently general behavioral changes, agression, sleep disturbances, but they ceased after decreasing the dose of levetiracetam. Mental retardation was associated with poor response and associated with more side effects. Conclusion - Levetiracetam is well tolerated new antiepileptic drug that may effectively improve seizures controll as an addon drug in resistant epilepsy in childhood with good tolerability.]

Clinical Neuroscience


BÓNÉ Beáta, JANSZKY József

[While 10% of healthy men had sexual dysfunctions, male epilepsy patients experience sexual problems in 40-70%. The cause of sexual dysfunction in epilepsy is multifactorial, but there are three main factors: the epilepsy itself, antiepileptic treatment and psychiatrical/psychic problems. Antiepileptics with hepatic enzyme induction potential (carbamazepine, phenytoin) enhance the metabolism of sexual steroids. Valproic acid as an enzyme inhibitor and drug with high protein binding affinity elevates the free serum levels of androgenes. Certain antiepileptic drugs may have negative cognitive side effects, some of them can induce psychiatric disorders. These drugs can facilitate male sexual dysfunctions through these psychic side effects. The metabolic and endocrine alterations caused by carbamazepin may return to normal level after replacement of carbamazepin with oxcarbazepine. After an oxcarbazepin-carbamazepin replacement, carbamazepin-induced impotency can be cured. According some new data lamotrigine can also help in sexual dysfunction. The therapy of sexual dysfunction in epilepsy depends on its cause. In cases of hormonal alterations, the fist step is a change of antiepileptic regimen. Instead of enzymeinductor antiepileptics and valproate, new antiepileptic drugs should be prescribed. At present, the most investigated antiepileptic drug is the oxcarbazepine with positive effect on antiepileptic-induced male sexual dysfunction, however, lamotrigine seems to be also beneficial. If the hormonal and sexual dysfunctions cannot be eliminated by drug changes, androgenic therapy or bromocriptin may be required. Testosteron may not only be beneficial on sexual functions, but can reduce also the seizure frequency. Independent of etiology, erectile dysfunctions can be successfully treated by sildenafil.]

Clinical Neuroscience


SERES Erika, VÉCSEI László

[Interferon-α, -β, and -γ have been used for the management of several diseases with varying clinical effects. Like many other proteins, all interferon species are potentially immunogenics especially those produced by recombinant gene technologies. A reliable screening assay for anti-interferon-β antibodies is suggested for patients with multiple sclerosis receiving interferon-β therapy. Natural interferon-β is a glycosylated 166 amino acid 25 kDa protein, recombinant interferon-β is available for therapy as 1a and 1b products. Both preparations induce anti-interferon-β antibodies, detectable in the serum of interferon-β-treated patients with multiple sclerosis. The question of wich assay is optimal for testing for antiinterferon- β antibodies in interferon-β-treated patients is unsettled. Two types of antibody assays are generally used: those measuring binding antibodies and those measuring neutralizing antibodies. The findings suggest that high titers of both binding and neutralizing antibodies reduce the clinical efficacy of interferon-β in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is important for the long-term efficacy of these drugs. Treatment with glatiramer acetat has also been shown to induce the development of “reactive antibodies” in patients with multiple sclerosis. This article briefly describes some of the findings concerning anti-interferon binding and neutralizing antibodies.]

Clinical Neuroscience


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Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

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[About the care of patients with hyperuricaemia and gout]

[This consensus document is intended to provide guidance for the effective and efficient treatment of asymptomatic individuals with high uric acid levels and gout patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

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[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of sleep in the relational memory processes ]

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