Clinical Neuroscience



JANUARY 20, 2005

Clinical Neuroscience - 2005;58(01-02)

[Dizziness and vertigo - like headache - are the most common complaints which lead patients to visit the doctor. In spite of the headache - which may be primary (e.g. migraine) or symptomatic - dizziness and vertigo do not appear to be a separate nosologic entity but rather the symptoms of several neurological disorders. For differential diagnosis, interdisciplinary thinking and activity is needed because the vestibular, neurological and psychiatric disorders might have a common role in the development of symptoms and further overlapping can also occur. The vascular disorders of the vertebrobasilar system are discussed in detail in this review. The importance, occurrence and causes of vertigo as a warning symptom is in the focus. The author draws attention to life-threatening conditions with acute onset in cases of the posterior scale ischemia and emphasizes the importance of the correct and early diagnosis. The author tries to clear up the nihilistic aspect in treating of stroke and stresses the necessity of thrombolysis and interventional radiological procedures which may be the only chance for the recovery of the patients. The pharmacological prevention of recurrent vascular events is also important and obligatory for the clinicians.]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience



[There is an increasing number of peripheral nerve disorders with inflammatory and immune mechanisms involved. The precise diagnosis is of utmost importance, since these patients can be successfully treated. Unfortunately, there is no specific marker for any disease of this group. The diagnosis therefore relies on the appropriate consideration of the clinical, neurophysiological and laboratory data, which requires in-depth knowledge of these diseases. In this paper we review the diagnostic criteria and treatment strategies for the major types of chronic inflammatory polyneuropathies.]

Clinical Neuroscience



[In this work the authors provide evidences for a unifying concept of the syndromes of benign focal childhood epilepsies, Landau-Kleffner syndrome, and electrical status epilepticus in sleep treating them as a spectrum of disorders with a common transient, age dependent, non lesional, genetically based epileptogenic abnormality, the nature of which is still not known. The electro-clinical features of these syndromes are congruent with the different degree involvement of the perisylvian cognitive network and with the involvement of the thalamo-cortical associative system of variable degree. These epilepsies are characterized by the abundance of regional epileptiform discharges in sharp contrast with the rare and in several cases lacking seizures. The nature and severity of interictal cognitive symptoms are closely related to localization within the network and amount of epileptic interictal discharges. Spike-wave discharges are attributed to an alternation of overexcitation (spikes) and overinhibition (waves). The recurrent overinhibition represented by the wave of the discharges may interfere with the continuous depolarization of the cells of a large population of neurons, which is a requirement of the overt seizures. The overinhibition also interfere with cognitive processes which are correlated with the continuous presence of the fast (gamma) activity, binding the required cortical areas. Hence the recurrent inhibition works against the existence of the binding fast frequency activity. This is the assumed reason for the co-existence of the relative lack of overt seizures and in the same time for the frequently observed epileptogenic cognitive deficit symptoms ("cognitive epilepsies"). The time course of these syndromes overlaps with important developmental milestones. The frequent epileptic discharges alters the evolution of the perisylvian network developing late after early childhood and is very vulnerable for any interference in this imprinting time for speech and other cognitive functions. This spectrum of disorders represents a type of age linked, mild to severe ‘epileptic encephalopathy’ limited to the perisylvian network, where the cognitive impairment is underlied by epileptic discharges interfering with cognitive development.]

Clinical Neuroscience


OLÁH László, CSÉPÁNY Tünde, BERECZKY Zsuzsanna, KERÉNYI Adrienne, MISZ Mária, KAPPELMAYER János, CSIBA László

[Introduction - Decreased activity of natural anticoagulants (antithrombin-III, protein C, protein S) rarely causes cerebral ischaemia, however it can be found frequently in acute phase of ischaemic stroke. The authors’ aim was to investigate whether the decreased activity of natural anticoagulants is accompanied by worsening of symptoms in ischaemic stroke. Patients and method - Sixty-eight acute ischaemic stroke patients were investigated. Severity of symptoms were assessed and followed by the NIH Stroke Scale. Antithrombin- III, protein C, protein S activities, and concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured within 48 hours after onset of ischaemic stroke. Results - Progressing stroke was found in 29% of patients. Decreased activity of at least one natural anticoagulant proteins was present in 31% of patients. Progression of stroke symptoms occured in 76% of patients with decreased natural anticoagulant activity, while this proportion was only 9% in those with normal natural coagulation inhibitor protein activity (p<0.01). Progressing stroke was also more frequent in patients with elevated CRP value (60%) than in those with normal CRP level (11%; p<0.05). Decreased activity of natural anticoagulants was more frequent in patients with elevated CRP concentration compared with patients with normal CRP. Conclusion - The results demonstrate the importance of decreased activity of natural anticoagulants in acute phase of ischaemic stroke. This abnormality was present in about 1/3 of stroke patients. The decreased activity of natural coagulant inhibitor proteins may play an important role in development of progressing stroke thus indicating unfavourable outcome.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[EXPERIMENTAL DEMYELINATION CAUSED BY PRIMARY OLIGODENDROCYTE DYSTROPHY Regional distribution of the lesions in the nervous system of mice brain]


[Background and purpose - Heterogeneity of multiple sclerosis lesions has been recently indicated: In addition to T-cell-mediated or T-cell plus antibody-mediated autoimmune mechanisms (patterns I-II) two other patterns (III-IV) were described. Patterns III-IV are characterized by primary oligodendrocyte dystrophy, reminiscent of virus- or toxin-induced demyelination rather than autoimmunity. It was described more than 30 years ago that dietary application of a copper-chelating agent called cuprizone results in primary oligodendrocyte degeneration which is followed by demyelination. The aim of the present study was to examine the regional distribution of cuprizone induced oligodendrocyte dystrophy and demyelination in the nervous system of mice. Material a methods - Demyelination was induced in male weanling Swis-Webster mice by feeding them on a diet containing 0.6% (W/W) cuprizone bis(cyclohexanone)-oxalyldihydrazone (G. F. Smith Chemical, Columbus OH) for 8 weeks. Animals were sacrificed after 3, 7, 14, 27, 35, 56 days of cuprizone administration. Samples were taken from corpus callosum, anterior commissure, optic nerve, cervical spinal cord and sciatic nerve. Samples were examined by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization for myelin proteins and myelin protein mRNA-s, respectively. Conventional neuropathological stainings and electron microscopy was also performed. Results - Oligodendrocyte degeneration and demyelination followed a particular standard pattern in the central nervous system. Profound myelin loss developed in the superior cerebellar peduncle, anterior comissure and corpus callosum, whereas the optic nerves, velum medullare anterior and spinal cord showed little or no demyelination. Sciatic nerves were unaffected. No infiltration by lymphocytes or blood-brain barrier damage was observed during cuprizone treatment. Conclusion - Cuprizone induced oligodendrocyte damage and demyelination follows a particular standard pattern in the central nervous system of mice. Cuprizone induced demyelination might be considered as a model for human demyelinating disorders with primary oligodendrocyte dystrophy and apoptosis.]

Clinical Neuroscience


FARSANG Marianna, TAKÁTS Annamária, SZIRMAI Imre, KOVÁCS Tibor

[Corticobasal degeneration was described in 1968 by Rebeiz, Kolodny and Richardson, who characterized the disease as a syndrome of asymmetric akinesis and rigidity, dystonia of the upper limb, apraxia, myoclonus and dementia. Atrophy of the frontal and parietal lobe, neuronal loss, gliosis and achromatic neurones (and nowadays astrocytic plaques) are the characteristic pathological features of the disease. Corticobasal degeneration is a rare or a rarely recognized disease and it is frequently misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease. According to the Lang’s criteria, corticobasal degeneration can be diagnosed in the presence of rigidity and one cortical symptom (apraxia, cortical sensory loss, alien hand) or in a patient with rigidity, dystonia and focal reflex myoclonus. Exclusion criteria are early dementia (as in primary degenerative dementias), early vertical gaze problems (as in progressive supranuclear palsy), resting tremor and good, sustained therapeutic response to levodopa (as in Parkinson’s disease), severe autonomic problems (as in multiple system atrophy) and any pathology on imaging studies which might explain the clinical symptoms. It should be mentioned, that recently early dementia is recognized as an initial symptom of corticobasal degeneration. The authors present a case and review the literature to call attention to this disorder.]

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Related contents

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

[Interdisciplinary approach of vestibular system impairment]


[In the first part of this review the definition of vertigo/dizziness was discussed. The major difference between the two signs is the exsistence of the direction, which is specific for vertigo. Dizziness is a frequent complaint in the clinical practice. Its frequency is increasing with advance of age, to intimate the play of declining cognitive process in the pathogenesis of its. The popular health significance of vertigo is in the rowing number of the patients. The onset of the most cases with acute vertigo appears between secundums and minutes so the patients will be provided in circumstances of emergency department. First of all three form schould be take into account: neuronitis vestibularis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Meniere syndrome. Without tipical periferal signs of vertigo, central cause should be searched, principally stroke (lysis possibility). The differential diagnose of the different dizzeness/vertigo forms according to the elapsed time of the onset or congenital and acquired nystagmus was created in tables. The recommendations of the therapy of acute and chronic dizziness/ vertigo syndroms are, lack of results of evidence based trials doubtful. The more often used drugs based on clinical trials are discussed as vinpocetine, betahistine and piracetam. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that the last molecule is eligible to use both in periferal and central type of vertigo syndroms.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Clinical neurophysiological methods in diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular diseases]

NAGY Ildikó, FABÓ Dániel

[Neurophysiological methods are gaining ground in the diagnosis and therapy of cerebrovascular disease. While the role of the EEG (electroencephalography) in the diagnosis of post-stroke epilepsy is constant, quantitative EEG para-meters, as new indicators of early efficiency after thrombolysis or in prognosis of patient’s condition have proved their effectiveness in several clinical studies. In intensive care units, continuous EEG monitoring of critically ill patients became part of neurointenzive care protocols. SSEP (somatosesnsory evoked potencial) and EEG performed during carotid endarterectomy, are early indicative intraoperativ neuromonitoring methods of poor outcome. Neurorehabilitation is a newly discovered area of neurophysiology. Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Brain computer interface mark the onset of modern rehabi-litation, where the function deficit is replaced by robotic tehnology. ]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[Changes in infectology over the past two decades]


[Infectious diseases and various infections are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in developing as well as in industrialised countries. Despite the advances in the past decades in our understanding of microbes, efficient treatment of diseases and preventive approaches, more than 13 million people die every year due to infectious diseases. In the past two decades, more and more new pathogens and infections diseases have been emerging and old diseases that were almost forgotten have re-emerged. There are many new diseases for which we do not have or have hardly any efficient antimicrobial drugs and no efficient vaccines. Despite an increasing frequency of multi- and panresistant microbes, the development of new antibiotics to be used against these infections is unlikely to occur in the near future. The big pharmaceutical companies have stopped the research of antibiotics. In this situation, the only option we have is to use antibiotics rationally and to take prevention and control of infections seriously, both in the outpatient system and in hospitals. Preserving the effectiveness of currently used antibiotics is in everyone’s interest and is everyone’s responsibility]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[Various medical associations issue different recommendations for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. These significant differences are partly explained by the different definition of normal vitamin D level and the use of completely different mathematical models to predict the increase in vitamin D level as a response to therapy. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the target vitamin D level is 20 ng/ml, whereas the Endocrine Society (ES) recommends 30 ng/m as the miminum target value. According to the ES, a 1 ng/ml increase of vitamin D level can be reached by a daily intake of 100 NE, while the IOM recommends 3.6 ng/ml. Moreover, the IOM states that the effect of therapy on serum level is nonlinear. These differences show that the ES and IOM have different views on the risk of adverse effects. The IOM recommends 400 IU vitamin D daily for children younger than 1 year, 800 IU for those above 70 years and 600 IU/per day for everyone else. The ES recommend 400-1000 IU daily for all infants and 1500- 2000 IU for adults. Screening, however, is not recommended by either society. To decrease uncertainty concerning the side effects of higher-dose vitamin D treatment, it is important to understand, use and support the function of the pharmacovigilance system of the pharmaceutical industry that manufactures and markets various (prescription, over-the-counter) preparations. This is what the author aims to highlight in the second part of this article. Using this system, both the doctor and the patient can help support and accept the justification of higher-dose vitamin D therapy.]