Clinical Neuroscience

[Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: A review of the 2017 revisions of the McDonald criteria]


SEPTEMBER 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(09-10)


[The revolutionary progress of research in neuroimmu­nology has led to the introduction of disease modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis at the end of the last century. The International Panel on Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis originally proposed the 2001 McDonald criteria to facilitate the diagnosis of MS in patients with the first objective neurological symptom(s) suggesting demyelinating event, when magnetic resonance imaging is integrated with clinical and other paraclinical diagnostic methods. New terms have been introduced to substitute clinical information by MRI: dissemination in space - indicating a multifocal central demyelinating process and dissemination in time - indicating the development of new CNS lesions over time. The criteria for diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis have continuously evolved, they were modified in 2005 and 2010 allowing for an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of MS over time, and they provided the most up-to-date guidance for clinicians and researchers. The last recommended revisions relied entirely on available evidence, and not on expert opinion thereby reducing the risk of the misdiagnosis. The 2017 McDonald criteria continue to apply primarily to patients experiencing a typical, clinically isolated syndrome. In this review, we provide an overview of the recent 2017 revisions to the criteria of dissemination in space and time with the importance of the presence of CSF-specific oligoclonal bands; keeping fully in mind that there is no better explanation for symptoms than diagnosis of MS. In the future, validation of the 2017 McDonald criteria will be needed in diverse populations. Further investigations are required on the value of new MRI approaches, on optic nerve involvement, on evoked potential and optical coherence tomography, in order to assess their possible contribution to diagnostic criteria.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Minimally invasive, extrapleural-anterolateral approach to the spine]

SZABÓ Viktor, BÜKI András, DÓCZI Tamás, SCHWARCZ Attila

[In spine surgery, minimally invasive approaches (MIS) are getting accepted and more popular worldwide during the last decades. It is due to the reduced intraoperative blood loss, decreased infection rate, less postoperative pain and earlier discharge from hospital compared to traditional approaches. The present paper puts forward a minimally invasive extrapleural approach to the thoracic spine that is not applied in Hungary. This new approach, in contrast to the standard costotransversectomy, provides direct visual control over the ventral surface of the dural sac. Furthermore, contrary to the transthoracic way, following minimally invasive extrapleural surgery thoracic drainage and intensive care are not necessary. The approach can be applied safely in treatment of ventral or ventrolateral pathologies of the thoracic spine. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[28 years in the service of the cooperation of national clinical neurosciences]

RAJNA Péter, TAJTI János

[Two leading managers of the scientific journal currently publishing its 71st volume give an overview on the history and content- and form-related development of the journal. Recognizing the constantly decreasing role of paper-based literature products, the value system and the priorities of the journal were established more than 20 years ago: 1) preservation of high standards by achieving and maintaining international registration and annual qualification (i.e. impact factor); 2) enabling publication in Hungarian language for scientists living in Hungary and abroad; 3) displaying an ever broader spectrum of clinical neurosciences in the publications; 4) presentation of cutting-edge findings (related to the etiology, diagnostics, therapy, and care) of the most frequent and most relevant diseases in order to assure and enhance the quality of national clinical practice; 5) providing the possibility for the highest possible standard of scientific publication for Hungarian clinical neuroscientist; and finally 6) maintaining a readily available interaction surface and debate forum for the involved professionals in clinical questions of public interest. With respect to the above aspects, an outline is given of the efforts of the nearly three decades by listing editorial, publication, and other activities introduced throughout the history of the journal. The presumed strengths and weaknesses of the journal are summarized, the opportunities and limitations of the established objectives are highlighted, based on which the editors outline the most important tasks (SWOT analysis).]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The evaluation of paroxysmal events in neonates and infants]

NAGY Eszter, FARKAS Nelli, HOLLÓDY Katalin

[Introduction - Differential diagnosis of neonatal and infantile seizures based only on inspection poses a challenge even for specialists. Aims - To investigate the evaluations of neonatal and infantile paroxysmal events based only on inspection. Research question - Is there any difference in the opinion of neonatologists, paediatric neurologists and neurologists about the assessment of common paroxysmal events in infancy? Patients and methods - Video recordings about paroxysmal movements of 15 neonates or infants (aged 2 days- 5 months) were displayed for 47 paediatric neurologists, 35 neonatologists and nurses working in Neonatal or Perinatal Intensive Care Units and 43 neurologists. They had to decide without knowing the past medical history or EEG results whether events presented were epileptic or nonepileptic in nature. Results - Answers of neonatologists and paediatric neurologists were correct in 67% of cases (824/1230), no significant difference was found between their results. The largest uncertainty was in the judgement of discrete hand movements and very rapid clonus with epileptic origin, they were judged correctly by only one third of participants. The result of neurologists was only slightly, but not significantly different from that of paediatric neurologists. Conclusion - In most cases, the correct diagnosis of neonatal and infantile paroxysmal events requires video-EEG recording. No significant difference was revealed between the evaluation of neonatologists and paediatric neurologists about the differential diagnosis of movements. The ongoing cooperation of paediatric neurologists and neurologists going back to several decades facilitates the shaping of a common perspective.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Anterior cerebral artery infarcts; two years follow-up study

LÜTFÜ Hanoglu, ELMIR Khanmammadov, SEMA Demirci, ÜMMÜHAN Altin, DURSUN Kirbaş, TAHA Hanoglu, BURAK Yulug

Objectives – Anterior cerebral infarct (ACA) infarcts are reported very rare that is due to the compensatory collateral circulation provided by the anterior communicating artery. There are very few studies reporting the long-term follow-up results of ACA infarcts regarding their aetiology, clinical features and prognosis. Most studies reported in the literature vary between several months to one year. Patients and methods – A total of 27 patients with ACA infarcts were registered (14 women and 13 men). The mean age of the patients was 68.5 (age range: 45–89 years). Results – Bilateral ACA infarcts were reported in four patients (14.8%), right ACA infarct in 11 (40%) patients and left ACA infarct in 12 patients (44%). During the initial examination 15 patients (55.5%) were found to have apathy, 13 patients (48%) had incontinence, nine patients (33.3%) had primitive reflexes, 11 patients (40.7%) had aphasia, while six patients (22.2%) were found to suffer from neglect. At the end of one-year follow-up, five patients (22.7%) were reported to have apathy, 6 patients (27.2%) had incontinence, one patient (4.5%) had primitive reflexes, while one patient (4.5%) was found to have permanent aphasia, and no patients was found to suffer from neglect. Conclusion – Here we present our clinical data regarding the aetiology, specific clinical characteristics (including the speech disorders) and prognosis of 27 patients with ACA infarcts during a relatively longer follow-up period (3 months – 30 months) in compared to previous literature. We show that there are differences in the etiological factors of ACA infarcts between the Asian and European communities. Regarding speech disorders which are frequently reported during ACA infarcts, our study results are in agreement with other studies suggesting that this clinical picture is more than a real aphasia and associated with general hypokinesia and reduction in psychomotor activity.

Clinical Neuroscience

A multidisciplinary clinical approach to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

CAKMAK Öztop Özgür, EREN Ilker, ASLANGER Ayca, GÜNERBÜYÜK Caner, KAYSERILI Hülya, OFLAZER Piraye, SAR Cüneyt, DEMIRHAN Mehmet, ÖZDEMIR Gürsoy Yasemin

Background - Impaired shoulder function is the most disabling problem for daily life of Fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) patients. Scapulothoracic arthrodesis can give a high impact to the functionality of patients. Here we report our experience with scapulothoracic arthrodesis and spinal stenosis surgery in FSHD patients. Patients and methods - 32 FSHD patients were collected between 2015-2016. Demographical and clinical features were documented. All the patients were neurologically examined. The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the FSHD evaluation scale was used to assess muscle involvement1. Scapulothoracic arthrodesis and spinal stenosis surgeries were performed in eligible patients. Results - There were 16 male and 16 female (mean age 34.4 years; range 12-73) patients. 6 shoulders of 4 patients aged between 2132 years underwent scapulothoracic arthrodesis (two bilateral, one left and one right sided). Only one 63 years old female patient with severe hyperlordosis had spinal fusion surgery. All of the patients undergoing these corrective surgeries have better functionality in daily life, as well as superior shoulder elevation. Conclusion - Until the emergence and clinical use of novel therapeutics, surgical interventions are indicated in carefully selected patients with FSHD to improve arm movements, the posture and the quality of life of patients in general. Scapulothorosic arthrodesis is a management with good clinical results and patient satisfaction. In selected cases other corrective orthopedic surgeries like spinal fusion may also be considered.

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Health status and costs of ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary]

PÉNTEK Márta, GULÁCSI László, RÓZSA Csilla, SIMÓ Magdolna, ILJICSOV Anna, KOMOLY Sámuel, BRODSZKY Valentin

[Background and purpose - Data on disease burden of multiple sclerosis from Eastern-Central Europe are very limited. Our aim was to explore the quality of life, resource utilisation and costs of ambulating patients with multiple sclerosis in Hungary. Methods - Cross-sectional questionnaire survey was performed in two outpatient neurology centres in 2009. Clinical history, health care utilisation in the past 12 months were surveyed, the Expanded Disability Status Scale and the EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was conducted from the societal perspective. Results - Sixty-eight patients (female 70.6%) aged 38.0 (SD 9.1) with disease duration of 7.8 (SD 6.7) years were involved. Fifty-five (80.9%) had relapsing-remitting form and 52 (76.5%) were taking immunomodulatory drug. The average scores were: Expanded Disability Status Scale 1.9 (SD 1.7), EQ-5D 0.67 (SD 0.28). Mean total cost amounted to 10 902 Euros/patient/year (direct medical 67%, direct nonmedical 13%, indirect costs 20%). Drugs, disability pension and informal care were the highest cost items. Costs of mild (Expanded Disability Status Scale 0-3.5) and moderate (Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0-6.5) disease were 9 218 and 17 634 Euros/patient/year respectively (p<0.01), that is lower than results from Western European countries. Conclusion - Our study provides current inputs for policy making and contributes to understanding variation of costof- illness of multiple sclerosis in Europe.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Family planning in multiple sclerosis: conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding]

RÓZSA Csilla

[Family planning is an exceptionally important question in multiple sclerosis, as women of childbearing age are the ones most often affected. Although it is proven that pregnancy does not worsen the long-term prognosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, many patients are still doubtful about having children. This question is further complicated by the fact that patients – and often even doctors – are not sufficiently informed about how the ever-increasing number of available disease-modifying treatments affect pregnancies. Breastfeeding is an even less clear topic. Patients usually look to their neurologists first for answers concerning these matters. It falls to the neurologist to rationally evaluate the risks and benefits of contraception, pregnancy, assisted reproduction, childbirth, breastfeeding and disease modifying treatments, to inform patients about these, and then together come to a decision about the best possible therapeutic approach, taking the patients’ individual family plans into consideration. Here we present a review of relevant literature adhering to international guidelines on the topics of conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a special focus on the applicability of approved disease modifying treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The goal of this article is to provide clinicians involved in the care of MS patients with up-to-date information that they can utilize in their day-to-day clinical practice. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[MR imaging of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis in children. A review (in English language)]

PATAY Zoltán

[Inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) are relatively rare in children, but their relevance to public health is considerable due to frequent and significant long term morbidity and even mortality. As in adults, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and multiple sclerosis (MS) and their variants are the most common entities in this group of pathologies in the pediatric patient population. Recent efforts have focused on establishing standardized diagnostic criteria schemes to facilitate the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of these diseases, however especially with multiple sclerosis those have not been fully validated yet for disease occurring in children. In recent decades the role of MRI has been constantly increasing in the diagnostic work-up of suspected inflammatory diseases of the CNS as well as in the follow-up of patients with confirmed disease. Currently, MRI is the first-line diagnostic imaging modality in ADEM and MS and is fully integrated in the most widely used diagnostic criteria schemes, but it has a key role in clinical therapeutic research trials as well. This paper provides an update on the current concepts and strategies of MRI in inflammatory diseases of the CNS, as well as a review of the imaging semiology of the various disease entities and variants with emphasis on clinical and imaging particularities relevant to the pediatric patient population.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Symptomatic trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache]

RÓZSA Anikó, KOVÁCS Krisztina, GUBA Katalin, GÁCS Gyula

[We report the case of a 60-year-old man who exhibited trigeminal autonomic symptoms on his right side (numbness of the face, reddening of the eye, nasal congestion) occurring several times a day, for a maximum of 60 se­conds, without any pain. The complaints were similar to trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, just without any headache. Our 60-year-old male patient underwent a craniocervical MRI as part of his neurological workup, which revealed lesions indicative of demyelination. Further testing was guided (ophthalmological examination, VEP, CSF test) by the presumptive diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. It is likely that in his case the cause of these trigeminal and autonomic paroxysms is MS. Here we present an overview of the few cases we found in the literature, although we did not find any similar case reports. Perhaps the most interesting among these is one in which the author describes a family: a 54-year-old female exhibiting the autonomic characteristics of an episodic cluster headache, only without actual headache, her son, who had typical episodic cluster headaches with autonomic symptoms, and the woman’s father, whose short-term periorbital headaches were present without autonomic symptoms. We had not previously encountered a case of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia without headache in our practice, nor have we had an MS patient exhibiting similar neurologic symptoms. The significance of our case lies in its uniqueness. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Current questions of multiple sclerosis: the secunder progressive form of the disease]


[Recent data suggest that long-term worsening is common in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and is largely independent of relapses or new lesion formation on brain MRI. The current definition of secunder progressive multiple sclerosis is worsening of disability independent of relapses over at least 6-month interval. Early focal inflammatory disease activity and spinal cord lesion are predictors of very-long term disease outcomes in relapse - onset multiple sclerosis. The potential of PET imaging to visualize hidden inflammation in MS brain in vivo is an important contribution for better understanding the progression of the disease. Therefore, PET imaging is a promising tool in detecting the conversion from relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis to secunder progressive form of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, neuro-axonal damage is the pathological substrate of permanent disability in different neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis. The neurofilament proteins have promise in this context because their levels rise upon neuro-axonal damage not only in the cerebrospinal fluid but also in blood. Patients with increased serum levels of neurofilament at baseline, independent of other clinical and MRI variables, experience significantly more brain and spinal cord volume loss over 2 years and 5 years of follow-up. The kynurenine-pathway abnormalities may be associated with the swich from early-mild stage multiple sclerosis to debilitating progressive forms of the disease. Analysis of these metabolites in serum may have application as multiple sclerosis disease biomarkers. Free radical action has been suggested as a causal factor in the illness. Increased free radical production and consumption of the scavenger molecules were found during the active phase of the disease. Based on the clinical findings (EXPAND Study) and pathomechanism of the disease siponimod is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsing remitting forms of multiple sclerosis, to include secunder progressive multiple sclerosis with active disease, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome.]