Clinical Neuroscience

[Devastating epileptic encephalopathypseudoencephalitis: the new type of catastrophe epilepsy in our department]

NEUWIRTH Magdolna, PARAICZ Éva, LIPTAI Zoltán

DECEMBER 20, 2008

Clinical Neuroscience - 2008;61(11-12)

[Purpose - Analysis of history of our five patients with intractable epilepsy whose illnes have begun with prolonged status epilepticus (SE) and high-grad fever of unknow cause. Methods - Retrospective study analysis of selected five intractable epileptic patients at a median age of 11.5 (8-14) years. Results - All children had normal development before epilepsy begun. Intractable SE lasted 3-10 (median seven) days by four patients and three months by one patient. The cause of illness was unknow at the beginning and the MRI were normal. Intractable epilepsy followed the SE in all cases without any latent period. Follow-up of the children was 3-15 (median 9.5) years. The seizures came continually with few-day-long breaks, antiepileptic drugs were ineffective. Semiology of seizures, EEG, and functional imaging examinations (PET, SPECT) referred to temporal and frontal lobe damages. Later on, the MR images showed hippocampal sclerosis in one patient and mild generalized brain atrophy in the others. During the years, cognitive deterioration and behavioral problems have been realized. The most severe patient developed tetraparesis, fell in vigil coma and died after five years. Conclusions - The symptoms of our patients fulfilled the criteria of devastating epileptic encephalopathy in schoolaged children.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Pediatric intraventricular tumors]

MARKIA Balázs, GYORSOK Zsuzsanna, KORDÁS Mariann, BOGNÁR László

[Pediatric intraventricular tumors present a well circumscribed group from surgical point of view. These tumors growing in the ventricular system cause hydrocephalus in most of the cases, the presenting symptoms are the signs of raised intracranial pressure. The mass lesion may remain silent for a long period, especially in infancy due to compensatory mechanisms, and the tumor might reach extreme size making the surgery a real challenge. This group has very specific postoperative problems resulting from the disturbance of CSF circulation. In this study we present the retrospective analysis of 55 patient operated for intraventricular tumor in the National Institute of Neurosurgery between 1991 and 2006. Data were analysed regarding histological type, presenting symptoms, type of surgical approach, radicalitiy of the resection and postoperative complications. In addition to our own results brief presentation of the specific histological groups is given based on the available literature.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Changes of the immune functions in patients with eating disorders]

PÁLI Anikó Andrea, PÁSZTHY Bea

[Aims - In this study we investigated whether calorie restriction or redundant food intake influences the function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and their main regulators (dendritic cells and macrophages), or the targets of Tregs, CD4+ lymphocytes. Patients and methods - We investigated 11 white adolescents (10 girls and 1 boy) with anorexia nervosa, 12 obes adolescents and 10 healthy controlls. With flow cytometry we determined the prevalence of Tregs, myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. We applied intracellular staining to investigate TNF-alpha and IL-12 production of macrophages, moreover IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-gamma production of CD4+ cells. We also determined calcium flux kinetics upon activation in CD4+ cells. Results - We did not find any difference between obese, anorectic and control individuals in the prevalence of Tregs, dendritic cells, TNF-alpha and IL-12 positive macrophages, IL-4 and IFN-gamma positive CD4+ lymphocytes. We found that the prevalence of IL-2 positive lymphocytes after activation was lower in anorectic than in control subjects [median (range): 11.50 (7.60-15.30) vs. 13.50 (12.00-22.00), p=0.023], and in obese patients, too [12.50 (8.50-15.50) vs. 13.50 (12.00-22.00), p=0.028]. IFN-gamma/IL-4 ratio in CD4+ cells was higher in obese patients compared with control (p=0.046). The calcium flux characteristics of lymphocytes upon activation differed markedly in anorectic and healthy subjects as maximal calcium levels developed later in anorectic patients [86 (45- 232) vs. 215 (59-235) second, p<0.05]. We also tested the association between lymphocyte activation parameters and patients' clinical status, but did not find any association between the variables. Discussion - Our results suggest that the antigen presenting cell - regulatory T cell - CD4+ lymphocyte axis might be affected by calorie and nutritional disturbances, further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying processes.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Pneumococcal meningitis in children - 9 1/2-year-experience at Szent László hospital, Budapest, Hungary ]

IVÁDY Balázs, LIPTAI Zoltán, ÚJHELYI Enikő, BALÁZS György

[Background and objective - No recent publications are available about pneumococcal meningitis in Hungarian children. The aim of this study was to collect data of epidemiological, clinical and prognostic features of pneumococcal meningitis in children treated at Szent László Hospital, Budapest, Hungary. Methods - We conducted a retrospective review of medical charts and follow-up records of patients aged 1 to 18 years admitted to our Pediatric and Pediatric Intensive Care Units due to pneumococcal meningitis between 1st Jan 1998 and 30th Jun 2007. Results - 31 children with 34 cases of pneumococcal meningitis were admitted to our hospital in the study period. Two children developed recurrent illness. The mean age was 6 years, 26% were under 1 year of age. The mean duration of hospital stay was 21 days, 97% required intensive care. Frequent clinical symptoms were fever (100%), nuchal rigidity and vomiting (78%), altered mental status (71%), Kernig's and Brudzinski's signs (58%) and seizures (41%). Otitis media, sinusitis, mastoiditis were present in 44%, 58%, 41%, respectively. Subdural effusion, parenchymal cerebral lesion and sinus thrombosis were documented in 5, 3 and 2 cases, respectively. One third of the patients recieved ceftriaxon, two thirds were administered ceftriaxon and vancomycin. Adjunctive therapy with dexamethason was given to 91% of the children. 70% of patients required mechanical ventillation. 9 patients (25%) required endoscopic sinus surgery. In 13 cases (38%) mastoidectomy, in 5 children (15%) neurosurgery was performed. The case fatality rate was 23.5%. 8 (23.5%) patients had mild or moderate, 1 child (3%) developed severe neurological sequelae. Conclusion - Pneumococcal meningitis in children remains a source of substantial morbidity and mortality in childhood. The long hospital stay, the frequent need for intensive care and severe neurologic sequelae emphasize the importance of early diagnosis, early treatment and prevention with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[How do temporal lobe seizures changeby age?]

FOGARASI András

[Seizure semiology describes different - motor, sensory, autonomic, etc. - aspects of epileptic seizures. Several semiological studies showed already that different epilepsies - especially temporal lobe epilepsy - contain age-dependent features. In our researches, we tried to assess these subjective aspects with as objective methods as possible. We gave a comprehensive (preictal, ictal, and postictal) description of seizure semiology in patients fulfilling the gold standard criteria of semiological studies: being seizure free after temporal lobe resections. Our studies based on a large population, assess epileptic features at different levels of brain maturation. They help to understand why certain semiological axes show special characteristics at different ages. In this review, I summarize the most important results of our seizure semiology studies in temporal lobe epilepsy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical and genetic diagnosis of dravet syndrome: report of 20 cases]

SIEGLER Zsuzsa, NEUWIRTH Magdolna, HEGYI Márta, PARAICZ Éva, PÁLMAFY Beatrix, TEGZES Andrea, BARSI Péter, KARCAGI Veronika, CLAES Lieve, DE Jonghe Peter, HERCZEGFALVI Ágnes, FOGARASI András

[Objective and background - Severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy (SMEI; Dravet's syndrome) is a malignant epilepsy syndrome characterized by prolonged febrile hemiconvulsions or generalized seizures starting in the first year of life. Later on myoclonic, atypical absence, and complex partial seizures appear. When one of these seizure forms is lacking the syndrome of borderline SMEI (SMEB) is defined. Psychomotor delay resulting in mental retardation is observed during the second year of life. In most patients a de novo sodium channel alfa-1 subunit (SCN1A) mutation can be identified. By reviewing the clinical, laboratory, and neuroimaging data of our SMEI patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2008, we would like to share our experiences in this rare but challenging syndrome. Our results will facilitate the earlier and better diagnosis of Hungarian children with SMEI. Patients and methods - Clinical, EEG, MRI and DNA mutation data of 20 SMEI patients treated in the Bethesda Children’s Hospital (Budapest) were reviewed. Results - The first seizure appeared at age 6.3±3.0 months. At least one of the first two seizures were complex febrile seizures in 19/20 and unilateral seizures in 12/20 children. All children except for one showed hemiconvulsions at least once; all children had seizures lasting longer than 15 minutes. Eight of twenty patients had SMEB. DNA diagnostics identified an SCN1A mutation in 17 patients (6 missense, 4 nonsense, 4 frameshift, 2 splice site, 1 deletion) while 3 children had no mutation. Conclusion - Early diagnosis of SMEI is important for the avoiding unnecessary examinations and false therapies as well as for genetic counselling. Typical symptoms of SMEI are early and prolonged febrile hemiconvulsions with neurological symptoms, mental retardation and secondary seizure types later on. The presence of an SCN1A mutation supports the diagnosis. We propose the availability of molecular diagnostics and stiripentol therapy for SMEI children in Hungary.]

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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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Clinical Neuroscience

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

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[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

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[A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of different memory systems, but less is known about the beneficial effect of sleep on relational memory processes and the recognition of emotional facial expressions, however, it is a fundamental cognitive skill in human everyday life. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of timing of learning and the role of sleep in relational memory processes. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. Our results suggest that the timing of learning and sleep plays an important role in the stabilizing process of memory representation to resist against forgetting.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]

VASTAGH Ildikó, SZŐCS Ildikó, OBERFRANK Ferenc, AJTAY András, BERECZKI Dániel

[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]

ZAKARIÁS Lilla, RÓZSA Sándor, LUKÁCS Ágnes

[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]