Clinical Neuroscience


FARKAS Zsuzsanna, CSILLIK Anita, PÁLVÖLGYI László, TAKÁCS Annamária, SZIRMAI Imre, KAMONDI Anita

JANUARY 30, 2006

Clinical Neuroscience - 2006;59(01-02)

[Objective - Tremor is the most common movement disorder which is most often either essential or caused by Parkinson’s disease. The differentiation of these disorders at the initial stage may be difficult. Objective assessment of the efficacy of tremor medications is only possible by instrumental measurements. The aim of this study was to determine whether the computer assisted tremor analysis system CATSYS 2000 can help in the differentiation of parkinsonian from essential tremor. Methods - The rhythmicity and maximal frequency of fast alternating hand and finger movements, simple reaction time and postural instability were recorded in healthy controls (n=18), patients with Parkinson’s disease (n=39) and essential tremor (n=37). Data were digitally converted and statistically analyzed. Results - Tremor intensity, median frequency and frequency distribution showed characteristic differences in the three groups. Performance in fast alternating movements of hands and fingers were significantly worse in both tremor groups compared to the healthy controls. Conclusions - The data also indicated that quantitative measurements of tremor parameters must be performed on both sides, because the presence of significant side differences support the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The method presented can be used to objectively analyze tremor and performance in rhythmic movements. The results show that it helps to differentiate parkinsonian from essential tremor as well as to predict disease course and the effectiveness of therapy. Multivariate statistical analysis of tremor and movement performance also provides an opportunity to study the pathogenesis of human tremor.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Hungarian Epilepsy League]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Neurosurgical ways…]


Clinical Neuroscience

[Hungarian Neurosurgical Society]

AZ Idegsebészeti Szakmai Kollégium

Clinical Neuroscience

[The potential role of spinal ketamine in multi-component antinociception]

JOÓ Gabriella

Clinical Neuroscience


LACZKÓ József, KERRY Walton, RODOLFO Llinas

[Here we report on the development of an integrated general model for the control of limb movements. The model computes muscle forces and joint rotations as functions of activation signals from motoneuron pools. It models the relationship between neural signals, muscle forces and movement kinematics by taking into account how the discharge rates of motoneuron pools and the biomechanical characteristics of the musculoskeletal system affect the movement pattern that is produced. The lengths and inertial properties of limb segments, muscle attachment sites, the muscles’ force-length, force-frequency and force-velocity (of contraction) relationships, as well as a load parameter that simulates the effect of body weight are considered. There are a large number of possible ways to generate a planned joint rotation with muscle activation. We approach this “overcompleteness problem” by considering each joint to be controlled by a single flexor/extensor muscle pair and that only one of the two muscles is activated at a given time. Using this assumption, we have developed an inverse model that provides discharge rates of motoneuron pools that can produce an intended angular change in each joint. We studied the sensitivity of this inverse model to the muscle force-length relationship and to limb posture. The model could compute possible firing rates of motoneuron pools that would produce joint angle changes observed in rats during walking. It could also compare motoneuron activity patterns received for two different hypothetical force-length relations and show how the motoneuron pool activity would change if joints would be more flexed or extended during the entire movement.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential responses in Parkinson’s disease


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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Parkinson’s disease from the perspective of general practice]

KOVÁCS Norbert

[Due to the recent developments in medicine, Parkinson’s disease became a relatively well-treatable condition. Recently the working abilities and the health-related quality of life of our patients dramatically improved by the application of optimal pharmacological and functional neurosurgical treatment options. Despite of these good progresses, the curative treatment option is still warranted. The aim of this review article is to present those pharmacological, neurosurgical and other treatments, which can improve the condition and quality of life of the patients. We also discuss the major concerns important for general practitioners including the assessment of driving abilities.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Neuropsychological outcome following bilateral pallidotomy in patients with Parkinson's disease]


[Introduction - Although significant improvement of motor function following bilateral pallidotomy for the treatment of Parkinsons's disease has been proved, the cognitive sequalae have not been clearly defined. There are recurrent loops interconnecting specific areas of the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia, suggesting the continuity or complementary functioning between these areas. Patients and methods - Pre- and postoperative cognitive function was evaluated in 19 Parkinsonian patients who underwent bilateral pallidotomy in order to clarify its effects on cognitive function. All patients were evaluated one day before the procedure and 12+ months after surgery using neuropsychological tests (Raven Progressive Matrices and Bergen Facial Recognition Test). Proper performance in these tests requires reasoning, abstraction and spatial memory, involving strongly the frontal functions. These functions could be described in terms of the ”working memory” concept. Hand Mental Rotation Test was used as comparing task not involving frontal functions. Scores were analyzed by Student’s t-test. Results - Modest improvement was observed in these cognitive functions as assessed by Raven Progressive Matrices (p<0.0688) and a significant change in the complex parts of Bergen Facial Recognition Test (p<0.0547; p<0.0468) was also noticed, but no change was registered in mental rotation tasks. Conclusion - Present data revealed that bilateral pallidotomy is associated with modest and long-lasting improvement in tasks involving the ”working memory”.]

Clinical Neuroscience


KOVÁCS Norbert, BALÁS István, ILLÉS Zsolt, KELLÉNYI Lóránt, NAGY Ferenc

[Ablative neurosurgical interventions are widely used for the treatment of advanced Parkinson's disease. However, in some cases, the achieved result is temporary and repeat operation is necessary to obtain a permanent effect. By analyzing 30 ablative surgeries using comparative accelerometry, we looked for a biological marker predicting the efficiency. In 27 cases where clinical symptoms were permanently improved, a significant increase in rest tremor frequency was observed in addition to reduction in tremor intensity. In contrast, in those three cases where the clinical effect of the surgery was only temporary, the frequency of tremor remained unchanged despite of the transitory decrease in intensity. We thus hypothesize that postoperative change in frequency of tremor but not the intensity may predict the outcome of ablative treatments.]